Back home in Seattle after my trippy trip down to Austin, Texas to attend the amazing Austin Psych Fest 2013! All in all, I photographed 25 bands, ate chicken in a waffle (twice), survived a downpour which resulted in a (temporary) field of clay soup, procured another drawing of a dog in a party hat for Miss Ten, made many new friends, saw old friends, and, as I fully expected, saw and heard a stunning and diverse musical lineup that was pretty much MADE FOR ME. I wish I had been triplets so I could've seen all the bands on all three stages, I truly do, for I am only one of me and couldn't be everywhere and I know I missed some insanely good performances. What I can tell you is that the 25 I saw were all fantastic. When does that happen, folks, huh??? JOY! (As always, click on the photos to enlarge and go to Flickr for more!)


Today I bring you the last photo set from the Kick-Off Party at Red 7 for Austin Psych Fest 2013...ladies and gentlemen, it's Rain Parade! Once members of the 1980s "Paisley Underground" scene in Los Angeles, they recently reunited after decades and lemme tell ya, they sounded like they never quit for a minute. As much as I dug the music, I appreciated even more how delighted they seemed at the enthusiastic crowd at Red 7, and how happy they seemed to just be playing together again. Awesome, guys.

Click on the photos to enlarge and go RIGHT HERE to Flickr to see more! Later, groovers!


How can one be both incredibly busy and incredibly slow? By one being ME, that's how! Anyway, a long, fabulous day of music and photographing music at Austin Psych Fest 2013 was had by ME yesterday, and I'm working as hard as I can to get the evidence up and processed! Today, two more bands from Thursday night's Kick-Off Party at Red 7: Fairfield Parlour, performing with Peter Daltrey of the legendary UK psychedelic band Kaleidoscope, and L.A.'s coolest pop-psych-folk boss combo, Allah-Las. Crowds loved both bands -- lots of smiles and cheers! Click on the photos to enlarge and go to the Flickr sets for more! Back with more pixel fun tomorrow (and for MANY more days)!

(Fairfield Parlour Flickr set)


Wow! Hit the ground running at the fab Austin Psych Fest happening RIGHT NOW in (where else) Austin, Texas! We got to the kick-off parties in downtown Austin last night just in time to see a handful of bands at Red 7, but MAN! All great! I am rushing to get out the door now to get to the fest today, but here's a few photos of Minneapolis shoegaze trippers Chatham Rise, who played a strong, well-received set. Click HERE for more on Flickr! Be back soon with MORE MORE MORE!


#1: On the way to the airport:

Car Service Driver:


#2: In the security line:

Preschool-Age Boy: Mama! Mama! I gotta go pee! RIGHT NOW!! Mama!!

Mama, also pushing a stroller with two very fidgety toddler twins: Listen, Mister! You're gonna have to WAIT! You just pinch your ping-pong until we get out of this line!!!

#3: Middle-aged man and very elderly woman waiting at the gate:

M.A. Man: I like Alaska better than American.

V.E. Woman: Alpaca??



I have been a huge fan of silent film legend Harold Lloyd since I was a young teenager, and saw "The World Of Harold Lloyd" compilation reruns on TV. To me, Harold was the Beatles of the silent era: for a time in the 1920s, he was the most-popular film star in the world, with his films out-grossing those of Charlie Chaplin and Buston Keaton combined. I found his movies to be funny, charming, clever, romantic, and optimistic, with the added bonus of unparalleled thrilling stuntwork that Lloyd did himself. I kinda had a crush on the guy, 50 years after his films were made, and can remember asking my Grandma Lizzie to tell me what she remembered about seeing his films (she was born in 1892, Lloyd in 1893). She was bemused that her granddaughter was asking about such ancient history. When I found out that he had died a few years before in 1971, I was a little crushed. I had hoped to write him a letter and tell him that his films were still beloved, and he was not forgotten.

Anyway, I encourage anyone who is a movie fan to wind up the way-back machine and enjoy my very-fave Harold Lloyd film of them all, 1924's "Girl Shy." A bonus for watching this copy is that you can learn Spanish from the extra subtitles! Click on the link below to go to the YouTube and please to enjoy!

"Girl Shy," 1924 (complete)


Oh, dear. I guess music superstar Beyonce was truly upset by what she considered to be "unflattering" photos taken of her at Super Bowl 2013. If you might recall the brou-ha-ha of a couple months ago, Beyonce's publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, immediately sent out take-down notices to any and all news or wire services, online publications, and to photographers themselves upon seeing the pictures of the lovely Beyonce in full rockin'-out action, complete with wild faces and flexin' muscles. It's all part of a passionate performance, right? Well, not to Ms. Noel-Schure and her apparently very unhappy and very powerful client. Even image giant Getty pulled many of the photos, no doubt to appease the PR gods, lest they pull photographer access in a future revenge mode.

UH OH, Getty. Now look what Beyonce has done! The contract currently being distributed to promotors for Beyonce's next tour specifies that NO PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS will be allowed AT ALL for her entire 2013 world tour! Sorry, reviewers, sorry public, you are just going to have to make do with only the approved downloadable photos from Beyonce's public relations folks. And sorry, pro photogs, that's just one more time you won't be able to make the tiny amount of money you might -- might -- have made by taking photos of a popular performer, performing in public in a news-worthy way.

But Miss Ten and I want to help! My artistic daughter has kindly drawn this image of Beyonce, which is downloadable on Flickr and has a "attribution, non-derivative Creative Commons" license on it, which means any publication that might be in need of a photo of Beyonce may publish her drawing for free just by giving credit and not changing it!

We sincerely hope that this assists our media friends.



For months now, I have been babbling like a STONE COLD LUNATIC to anyone who will listen to me about HOW VERY STOKED I AM to be going to Austin Psych Fest this year! For anyone who loves garage, punk, and psychedelic music, new and old, this festival is absolutely not to be missed -- the lineup is so unbelievably packed with amazing bands, I may get there and run in circles foaming at the mouth at so much greatness in one place! It's a dream gathering for me as both a music fan and music photographer, and I promise that I will be working my ass off this week to get you the best coverage I can. But I really want YOU to GO, too! If you have any way to get there, you will be amply rewarded with a beautiful new fest site at the gorgeous Carson Creek Ranch (only five minutes from Austin's Bergstrom International Airport), and mind-blowing performances. LOOK at this stack of talent!!!


I went to bed last night smiling, I woke up smiling, and am still smiling many hours later. I may look like a DAMN FOOL, but that's what kind of night it was as The Intelligence, one of my very super-favorite bands of all time, played Seattle's Chop Suey club on a drizzly Saturday night. The last time I saw smartypants bandleader Lars Finberg, it was during our wild, weird, and wonderful Florida "Velvet Underground" show trip, where he performed with West Palm Beach's Cop City Chill Pillars. I was FIRED UP to hear Lars play his own songs again, because I like them all. That's really handy. The room was filled with friends, bands, friends in bands, friends who used to be in a band, bands that used to be friends, friends that I haven't met yet, and a few other people that smelled like the hot dog stand outside the club door. It was a happy, very Seattle, scene.

(The Intelligence, Chop Suey, Seattle 4/20/13)


Here's the last installment of the mid-century vintage transparencies I bought at a recent Seattle flea market (click to see the first, a California vacation, and the second, "On The Farm")! The final seven slides are marked "Mike's Place," and a couple others look like they were on the way to Mike's Place, or maybe The Farm, or maybe even California! We can probably never know. These, too, were in pretty rough shape, but I still find them pretty cool. Please to enjoy!

We saw this lady on The Farm. Now she is by The Ocean!


I don't know.

Maybe it's just me.

Maybe it's just me that feels numb and depressed, even though one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects is dead and can never hurt anyone again, and his brother/accomplice is in FBI custody.

Maybe it's just me that does find relief that these two can no longer terrorize an entire major U.S. metropolitan area, but cannot join in with the party-style cheers and smiles and chants of "USA USA USA."

Maybe it's just me that appreciates that Boston law enforcement admirably handled the manhunt with precision and restraint, but knows that the cheering residents of Watertown, MA. will probably go back to cursing them out for giving them speeding tickets in a month or so.

Maybe it's just me that suspects there is little joy in the households of all those families who must live with the still-fresh agony of knowing their loved ones experienced a monstrous death, or are now permanently and horribly disfigured or disabled.

Maybe it's just me that thinks about the black-hearted in the world who cheer at American tragedies, for they feel we don't care about them at best, and decimate them at worst.

Maybe it's just me that accepts that our government has done wrong, but also knows that there is no excuse for perpetuating evil on any side, for any reason, for any cause.

Maybe it's just me that thinks that we have a worldwide "perfect storm" situation that will cause more and more young men of any skin color or belief systen to be radicalized, and will strike out at us again, and again.

Maybe it's just me who knows that the NRA and the GOP must be clapping their hands, for a fearful society will buy more guns out of panic, and vote for those who will demonize all immigrants.

Maybe it's just me that can see both a sick, reprehensible sociopath in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and a face of a 19-year-old child who looks like he could be one of my son's friends.

I don't know.

I just know that I am sad.


I was especially happy to head on over to the Sunset in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood last night to catch the very first Seattle appearance of my Florida friends, Beach Day! The trio (Kimmy Drake, guitar and vocals, Natalie Smallish, bass and vocals, and Skylar Black) is true to their name, combining the crunchy reverb, single-line guitar runs and thumping drums of classic surf rock with the sweet harmonies of early '60s girl groups, but with a modern garage edge. Think Gidget meets the Gories, or Lesley Gore kidnapped by the Black Lips. Take a listen to "Boys," their awesome latest single on Kanine Records:

Their first album on Kanine, Trip Trap Attack, is due out on June 18th, which you may order from Kanine, Amazon, or iTunes, and SHOULD DO SO, so your summer can be extra-mega-GOOD!

The band played a great set, and I really hope they can get back here soon! Here's some of the photos that I took, and you can see the full set on Flickr if you click RIGHT HERE! Click to enlarge and please to enjoy!


The United States of America*, a rapidly-growing country of approximately 314,914,040, of which  169,000,000 are registered voters, is seeking highly-motivated, intelligent, team-oriented men and women to serve their nation in the high-profile, full-time, voter-renewable capacity of Congressperson. These positions are based in Washington, D.C., a vibrant, fast-paced city known for its many vital American institutions and landmarks and Power-Broker Happy Hours. The job provides the following benefits:

  • Annual salary of $174,200 (Majority and Minority Leaders receive $193,400; Speaker of the House receives $223,500) with an annual cost-of-living increase;
  • Pension and other Retirement benefits;
  • Health and Life Insurance benefits;
  • A Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) for personnel, office, and mail allowances, with an average allowance per member per year of $1,353,205;
  • Free federal building office space in Washington, D.C. and members' home states, ranging from 5000-8000 square feet, completely furnished, plus allowance for a Mobile Office Space;
  • Innumerable other perks, such a designated parking, dedicated underlings, and good restaurant seating.
In order to form a more perfect union, qualified candidates will:

  • Be able to read and write at a college level, be able to fully understand as well as draft complex legislative documents, and be able to speak at length about these documents;
  • Keep current with ongoing State, National, and World news;
  • Have a strong interest in protecting and providing for the overall well-being, safety, and human rights of all the citizens of their States, the Nation, and the World;
  • Will be able to transition successfully between roles as a flexible member of a team and a dynamic, persuasive leader;
  • Will be responsive to the issues and concerns of all of their constituents;
  • Will conduct themselves in a manner befitting a representative of of the people and the trust those people place therein, including the ability to completely avoid sex scandals, party-line sheep voting, media blocking, the necessity to attend a rehab facility, bloated progress-retarding filibusters, and hostile, ignorant, sexist, racist, homophobic, or vulgar expressions;
  • Will accept no illegal compensation of any kind, now or promised in the future, from powerful lobbyists, underhanded corporations, or deep-pocketed creepy campaign donors; must have unshakable and "un-buyable" personal integrity;
  • Will tell the truth to the American people, even though it may be received poorly, be unpopular, or may cost the Congressperson a second term in office;
  • Must be a person of determination, vision, strength and action in the face of endemic corruption and  extreme, constant political and personal pressure.
Interested candidates may visit your State's Republican, Democratic, or Independent headquarters to find out how to begin the process of rebuilding America's broken justice system. Apply today!

*The United States of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Ha ha, just kidding. Good luck, though!


Today I bring you a few more of the '50s vintage transparencies I got at a local flea market! The first installment was apparently a little trip to Southern California -- I'm really only guessing with the locale and the era here, because there was no information provided with the slides...other than this:


Like so many others around the world, I have a heavy heart today, saddened by the news of what looks to be another act of terrorism on American soil. Two devastating explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon race have killed three people, and badly injured many more. One of the dead was an 8-year-old boy.

As I found out about the attack and listened to a live news stream via Reuters, people began to post things on Facebook in response. Some were news links, but many more were short, poignant expressions of sadness, saying that thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families. But a few posts were markedly different, and are as predictable as the expressions of sorrow; they are angry at what seems to be hypocritical hand-wringing from Americans who cry only for themselves and no one else in the face of terrorism. I can understand this point of view, especially from those who live outside the U.S. I can see where someone might think we have no right to grieve when we condone drone strikes that kill innocent people, when we have started wars for dubious cause, when we seem so ruthless and uncaring in the face of the suffering of others. I can see where the anger and the bitterness comes from. But this kind of blanket indictment of all Americans is a particularly immature (if common) view; it is lazy, cynical, and heartless. 

I am reminded of my trips to England, when just via my American accent, I was accosted by pub-goers, shop owners, and even new acquaintances, complaining about how awful my president(s) were, how horrible my government was, how useless and stupid my fellow citizens were. Keep in mind, this is all before I said anything more than, "I'll have a draft cider, please." I was stunned by the vitriol, not used to such a one-sided political discourse. Just because I was identifiable as one of a group of 200 million plus, I was the enemy. No one asked me my opinion. No one asked me who I voted for. No one asked me about my own political activism. I was used as a dumping ground for anti-American rage, and not one of those people cared one bit about who I was and what I thought. Talk about hypocrisy. 

People react in different ways to large-scale tragedies such as the one that took place in Boston today...sadness, confusion, anger. Some people will listen to the news non-stop; some will tune out and redirect their minds to something that numbs out the reality of the event. Blame and speculation will be flying everywhere, shards of virtual glass that can wound as well. 

Hatred of an entire group of human beings was likely the beginning to what formed the mindset in those responsible for today's attack. We have an absolute responsibility to humanity to reject this kind of thinking. We must, or nothing can or ever will get better. 


I spent the bulk of my day cleaning and organizing stuff that I have cleaned and organized 50 million times before, because I JUST LOVE LOVE LOVE MINDLESS FILTHY LABOR! Nah, not really. But since I was busy I thought I would share some of Miss Ten's early school poetry efforts with you, which I discovered in with the DAMN TUPPERWARE today. I think these are a couple of years old. Her spelling has improved, but I am delighted to say that her surreal expressions have remained. Please to enjoy!


A post-dinner run up to Edmonds, WA. tonight found me at another Value Village thrift store looking for more vintage goodies! Besides finding a bizarre lenticular Japanese t-shirt for Miss Ten and a pair of orange shorts that I had to buy because the label read "Marianne," once again the record section of the store proved plenty o' fun. Here are 11 strange and wonderful record covers from the past! Please to enjoy!

I mean, I know this is a Christian music record, but HOW I WISH it were about a gay tailor. Not that the two are incompatible...


I was saddened today to hear of the death of comedian, author, and artist Jonathan Winters at age 87. I remember him with great fondness from my childhood -- his bizarre, lightning-quick improvisational style was so unique and so funny. There really was no one like him until Robin Williams came along -- and Williams himself gave complete credit to Winters as his prime influence. Winters was sharp as a tack, yet sweet. Everyone loved him.

Jonathan Winters on "The Tonight Show" with Jack Paar, 4/64

Although I enjoyed all his comic performances on TV and the movies, it is Winters in a serious role that I recall most today, showing the great range he had as a performer. His co-star in this 1961 "Twilight Zone" episode called "A Game Of Pool" is Jack Klugman, also primarily known as a comic actor but with great dramatic skills. Klugman died last December, age 90. Ah, good stuff. RIP.

A Game Of Pool #1

A Game Of Pool #2

A Game Of Pool #3


Confession: I am an ex-competitor.

In my childhood days, I was hyper-competitive, hyper-focused on winning at anything and everything that I was involved in, from school spelling bees to foot races to board games. In my mind at that time, anything less than getting the top spot was unthinkable, an unbearable shame, therefore I had to do whatever it took to win. I was most often successful, and avoided facing true loserdom by quitting before the end if it looked like I had no chance to win. I can remember pretending to be sick to get out of a math test I knew I wasn't ready for, and "accidentally" turning over a Monopoly board to ruin the game in progress, which pissed off everyone, which in turn pissed off me.

Not good, not good at all. When I came to understand that my behavior was making other people unhappy, and making me look and feel like a giant jerk, I knew that I had to change how I looked at competition. Unfortunately, I veered completely to the other side -- I stopped competing in any way at all. No games, no sports. Schoolwork went undone with only the bare minimum to pass the class. I stopped thinking that I must win or deserved to win, and started thinking, "why try at all?" This, too, confused people and made them unhappy, which made me angry. What business was it of theirs, I grumbled, if I wanted to withdraw from competition?

It took many more years for me to face that neither of those extremes were productive or realistic. All of us need to compete sometimes, and sometimes at a high level, and all of us need to know how to lose with grace and perspective, too. I had to examine why I felt I always had to be the best of the best, or be invisible, and then break all that mess down into pieces until I could start fresh again. I think remodeling this in my brain will always be a work-in-progress, but I'm game to keep at it.

I got to thinking about this today via an afterschool car conversation with my middle kid, Mr15. I had asked him if he missed never playing team sports, and he replied, no, that he didn't really enjoy the "bad vibe" that many super-competitive teams have. This doesn't surprise me; he's a nice guy and would rather have everyone be pretty happy instead of some very happy and some very unhappy. He works hard at his martial arts classes, he went on to say, but he's really competing against himself by getting faster and stronger and more strategic in his thinking. He doesn't want to do tournaments, even though he earned a black belt a couple of years ago.

I wondered to myself, what do you tell someone who is less interested in competition about how to get along in the world where the old adage "you snooze, you lose" is quite true? Are those people destined to have less than those who are compelled to win? Having been on both ends of the competitive scale, I thought maybe I might have some insight. I think one can be a "quiet competitor" and do quite well, indeed.

1. Slow and steady wins the race. OK, well...sometimes slow is just slow and you will lose. But there is something to this, especially when remembering that the kids who have been hyper-parented since birth to achieve, achieve, achieve (and there's a whole lot of them out there) may take an early lead, but falter later on from too many years of pressure. Argon Edward Yachtman, III, may get into Stanford, but might very well spend his freshman year free of Heli-Mom pot-smoking away all his textbook money, and his scholarship, too. Sometimes a more stable, steady, slower pace is a good thing.

2. Whatever you already do well, keep doing that. Stop looking at the highest achievers as your benchmark of worthiness. If you know you are doing a good job at something, that people appreciate it, and you enjoy it, keep learning and growing and doing. There is no downside to this attitude.

3. Take every opportunity you can get to learn new skills -- whatever they might be. This is something many top competitors never have the time to do. They are so focused and busy being the best at their thing that they end up only knowing how to do that one thing. But this is guaranteed: no one stays at the top forever, and it's a harsh fall indeed if there are no branches to break your fall. Any time you can say to an employer, "Yes, I know how to do that," you are more valuable. Any time you can become more flexible and more self-reliant, you win. Don't be snobby. Gather experience in all kinds of things, even if it seems basic or boring at the time.

4. Treat others with respect, fairness, and kindness. In the heat of any competition, civility can be lost, and at its worst, can cause great misery to others. Any major player had better understand the risk he or she takes when deciding that cheating or cruelty is the way to go. People often forget the trophies or honors or awards or big sales weeks...but they never forget when someone has done them wrong or made them feel bad. Conversely, people do remember folks who are easy to work with, congenial, willing to help others, and trustworthy. You don't need to be a competition superstar to earn the bountiful benefits of being a just a regular ol' decent person.

5. Accept fully that you may never get that job, or that car, or that house, or that fame, or whatever carrot is being dangled in front of you. Not everyone was built to be the same thing, and there sure as hell isn't only one definition of success. Don't let the media and the Jones' or your family or your co-workers or anyone else make you feel bad if you don't "have it all." It's up to YOU to figure out what "success" is, it's up to you to decide what gives you comfort and happiness, and it's up to you to choose how you want to spend your precious days. Pro tips: money buys options, not happiness, and spending time doing fun stuff with the people you love is the best thing, anyway. Work hard at achieving as many days as you can of the latter, and you will have a life you can be proud of, and you will be well-remembered.

So get out there, Mr15 and the rest of you Quiet Competitors...and run your own race.


A trip to the Fremont Sunday Market in Seattle rewarded me with quite a cool find: a stack of 2 1/4" color film slides! It looks to me like they are all from the 1950s, and this little set I think must be from someone's vacation to Southern California. They were all extremely faded, with almost all the detail and color washed away with the decades. Thanks to a few Photoshop manipulations on my part, they are now quite viewable, and that makes me feel good, somehow.

I first thought that the beach might be Santa Monica, but it's not built-up enough. Imperial Beach, maybe? If you can figure this out, tell me in comments!


HOO BOY. There isn't much cheesier of a musical instrument than the highly-annoying keytar. If you've already buried this information in the sewer canals of your brain, let me again remind you that a keytar is a small keyboard (often a synthesizer) worn across the body like a guitar. It was fairly popular with bad bands in the '80s and current airport hotel lounge acts. Wearing a keytar onstage seemed to provoke usually stationary keyboardists to particularly bold and spastic rock moves. Today we shall watch a few keytarists in their element, while Lucifer fires up the grill. I'd ask you to please to enjoy, but since I got a headache just by having to listen to these to get them posted, I know better.

This woman seems to have ingested 1,000,000 cups of coffee. Although this clip is likely 25 or more years old, I bet she is STILL GOING HERE. Her sexy dress doesn't even begin to make up for the libido-killer that is the sound of this instrument.

Hyper Keytar Woman

This guy thought he'd do a Michael Jackson song medley in honor of Ol' Glovey's passing. To me this sounds like a plague of locusts all playing PacMan.

Michael Jackson Keytar Guy

Howard J. Foster even admits these are "Shred Arpeggios From Hell," and I couldn't agree more. Can you imagine someone playing this over the P.A. at the DMV while everyone stood in line? I have a cruel streak, I know.

Shred Arpeggios From Hell

HAHA! The audience reaction at 0:22.

Indian Keytar Guy

I'm sorry, this stupid-looking hunk of white, out-of-tune plastic doesn't help your metal image, sir. Keytar headbanging?

Iron Maiden Keytar Guy

And finally, I sincerely hope that this ending video isn't the last thing you ever hear in your life. That would really be unfortunate.

Kids Keytar


When I read that actress, singer, and former Disney Mouseketeer Annette Funicello died today at age 70, it got me thinking about how much she represented the American feminine ideal of the 1950s and early 1960s. I'm not sure if she wasn't the last of a kind -- perhaps there are a few ladies like her left out there -- but I don't believe she was any media-made fake. It is a rare person indeed who could go through the pressures of becoming an icon at the age of 12 to a whole nation of young Baby Boomers and not have some major scandal, break-down, or screw-up. By all accounts, Ms. Funicello went about her life with grace, generosity, and a positive attitude, made even more remarkable when considering that she suffered so terribly from multiple sclerosis for the last 25 years.

I was born at the very end of the Baby Boom years, so Annette was not my icon. To me, she was of a generation before me, where guys still put Brylcreem in their hair, everyone went to church every Sunday, and the only admirable ambition for girls was to become a good wife and mother. Even though her "beach movies" were being produced when I was little and I saw her on TV all the time, I wasn't looking to her or the Beach Boys or Frankie Avalon or Gidget. I was a Beatle Baby, and my female icons were Dusty Springfield and Twiggy and Marianne Faithfull -- the beautiful mod Brits, waifish and sulky and a little dangerous. I didn't want to be Annette Funicello, but she seemed like she might make a very nice older sister, if she didn't rat on me too much.

True to that ambition of the time, she married young and had her first child in 1966, and the beach was closed. It wasn't going to work having her play a virginal sweetheart anymore, and she didn't want to "spoil" her clean image by taking on more adult roles, so she didn't. She stayed at home, had two more kids, and occasionally hawked Skippy Peanut Butter. You might be a little surprised that I admire her for that; in an era of newly-awakening feminism, she was a throwback. But I do, because I think it's genuinely what she wanted to do most -- being with her family full-time was her real love and passion. Doing what you really want to do is always the best thing, changing times or anything else be damned.

Over 20 years after she shook the sand out of her exceedingly-modest '60s film bikini, she and Frankie Avalon reunited to make a good-humored parody of their beach movies, "Back To The Beach." The squeaky-clean onscreen couple grew up to have a punk rock son, of course.

Funny how things go. The Beatle Baby didn't grow up to be a sulky supermodel or a dangerous Dollybird. She grew up to be a wife and mother of three children in the suburbs, with Skippy Peanut Butter in the pantry. Chunky instead of Creamy, though.

"Bikini Beach" (1964, complete film)


Well, how 'bout this, cats n' kittens -- I got to shoot one of my favorite local bands again and ON MY REAL BIRTHDAY! Now that is just FAR too cool! I am a huuuuge fan of wimps, who have just released their first album, "Repeat" (End of Time Records) and have impressed me mightily with their short, sharp, sardonic songs and SUPER FUN live shows. Nice folks, too. Keep these people in pizza and beer! Buy that rekkid now!

Anyway, it was a grand night of music (Dude York and Chastity Belt opened) at the funky Blue Moon, located in Seattle's U-District. There was moshing and falling and laughing, beer cans crushed on the floor, lots of music discussion around rough old wooden tables with new and old pals, more beer, an onstage announcement or two of someone's birthday (!!), bass amp blowout, bass amp fall down, and some awesome new songs and possibly more beer. I had a blast, and thank wimps, Jason Josephes at Blue Moon, and my friend Kitty for helping to my birthday extra-special this year. Here's a few of the photos I took and as always you can click to enlarge them, and see the full set on Flickr RIGHT HERE.  Please to enjoy!


It is somewhat of a myth that all cats hate water. In fact, and especially when exposure is early and pleasant, many cats tolerate or even like water.


Today, we are to view cats that WOULD RATHER NOT be in the water. Sometimes, a dirty kitty needs a bath, and sometimes they let us know they displeased. You, please to enjoy! (Don't feel too bad for them, it's just WATER!)






I had a pretty decent doll collection when I was little, which I enjoyed until a ripe old kid-age. I think everyone imagines little girls playing with dolls in two ways: mothering a baby doll or pretending to be a fashionable adult via Barbies. I certainly did both these things, but added in all kinds of other imaginative play. The dolls with ratty clothes were poor. Big dolls would sometimes go all Godzilla over small dolls. The G.I. Joes would leave Barbie to go to Vietnam, returning with a leg and his head missing and Barbie already moved on to Ken, who was classified 4F, while "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" played on the AM radio.

I thought today I would bring a fond remembrance of some of those dolls who were not completely lovable, but served a great purpose in the world of play, the Misfit Toys of Marianneville.

This is really skeevy enough, but imagine the inevitable day when the talk box and string get messed up. HELLO! NIGHTMARE CITY!

Baby Secret

If you set off Baby Laugh A Lot with Baby Secret, there's your horror movie right there.

Baby Laugh A Lot

Chatty Cathy had dead eyes. Shudder.

Chatty Cathy

I can see where this could go wrong really, really quickly, whenever Patty's human friend decides Big Ol' Patty is going to stand in for vented feelings over a sibling or peer. The temptation to punch Patty in the face after you get sent to your room for arguing with your little sister about the last of the Frosted Flakes cereal would be huge.

Patty Play Pal

There is no doubt at all that I would have had this Stepford Wives doll march herself right out of a second-story window or into a swimming pool.

Bonny Bride

I would have had this doll family bickering bitterly about their tradable clothes, and then made the dad and son wear dresses and go grocery shopping. Ideal Teen, git outta here.

Tammy, the Ideal Teen

And finally, the doll with the uncontrollable bladder problems, Betsey Wetsey. Who amongst us had not filled her up with water and then squeezed her stomach hard so she'd pee like a racehorse, making your friends dissolve in giggles? RIGHT?

Betsey Wetsey


Like millions of other people around the globe, I was saddened to hear of film critic Roger Ebert's death today, April 4th, 2013. He waged a tremendous fight against the ravages that cancer brought him, both physically and emotionally, and did so with strength and grace. His writing was intelligent and lively; full of depth and thoughtful observation while never coming off as snobby or precious. He had a pugnacious side, to be sure, and always preferred to have the winning point of view -- not everyone agreed with him, and he could be more than a little testy at times. Yet he always retained a wicked sense of humor, and never once lost his zest for life nor generosity towards others, when most other people would have thrown in the towel in bitter defeat a thousand times over.

But you probably know all that about Roger Ebert already, or will if you read any of the many, many tributes that will be published today and in the years to come. What I want you to see here, if you haven't yet, is this quote from his book "Life Itself: A Memoir," written in 2011. I have listened to or read thousands and thousands and thousands of Ebert's words over a good 30 years or so, and I believe this the best thing he ever wrote:

"To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try." 

I urge you to read this over and over. Print it out and post it by your desk, or your fridge, or your car, or everywhere. Read it, read it, read it, read it...and believe with all your heart and mind in it, because this is truth. There isn't anything more important you ever need to know as you go through your one and only life. If you strive every day to live up to the statements in these five sentences, you will have a good life, and you will leave the planet in a better place than when you got here. That is the best any of us can ever do. 

Roger Ebert had a good life.


It is SOLID MODERN SCIENCE that owning a pet can strongly benefit your overall health and well-being. I feel so fortunate in so many ways to have shared all my years but a couple with a pet in residence. Since having pets and interacting with them has always been part of my daily life, it's always been a curious thing for me to meet up with people who have "pet issues." It wasn't until I became a parent when I'd have some kids over for playdates and they (and often, their parents) would freak at the sight of our dog or cat that I realized how many people haven't had experience with companion animals, or their contact had been unpleasant. Sometimes I would find myself in the role of person-to-pet mini-therapist, gently explaining to the reticent kid or adult friend how to approach an animal in a safe and friendly way. It was very gratifying to see someone who previously would never think of getting near a dog or cat be able to relax and enjoy greeting and petting a friendly member of another species, so I thought I'd write up a little primer here for those who might benefit. These things may all seem incredibly obvious to pet owners, but if you aren't taught these things, how can you know? So...


RULE #1: ASK THE OWNER BEFORE APPROACHING ANY ANIMAL. This is very important. Some animals are not good with being handled or touched by strangers (or even their owners). Do not reach or walk towards an animal you don't know before confirming with the owner that it is OK. It's generally not a great idea to touch an animal that is running loose or tied up outside a store with no owner present. If you think an animal is lost, call your local pet control or shelter, or someone you know with a lot of animal experience.

RULE #2: DO NOT INTERACT WITH HYPER ANIMALS. Dogs in particular can get very excited when greeting people, and barking, jumping up, and even nipping are common behaviors. If you find yourself in this situation, be calm and back away until the owner regains control of the dog and it settles down. Do not yell or scream, and don't give the dog positive attention for bad behavior. Jumping up behaviors can be dangerous for little kids and older folks who may not be so steady on their feet.

RULE #3: DO NOT INTERACT WITH ANIMALS SHOWING NERVOUS OR DEFENSIVE BEHAVIOR: This seems like a no-brainer, but the signs of stress in an animal can sometimes be confusing. Growling, hair puffed up on the back, a steady stare and rigid stance are are signs of fight-or-flight response, but did you know that a twitching or wagging tail sometimes shows stress, too? Pay attention, and leave an unhappy pet alone.

RULE #4: ALWAYS OFFER A CONSERVATIVE FIRST GREETING, EVEN WITH THE NICEST PETS: Even a sweet animal can be quickly overwhelmed when it is touched too suddenly or in the wrong spots. Let the pet approach you first and sniff your legs, and give them some time to figure out who you are. Gently offer the palm or back of your hand for the pet to sniff, but don't hover or crouch over, and do NOT stare at the pet's eyes. Speak quietly and kindly; loud noises can instantly upset any animal. If this goes well, you can gently pet the animal on the side of the body or face, upper or mid back, or scratch behind its ears if it likes that (many animals do). Avoid petting the stomach or tail area unless you know the animal well -- these are areas of vulnerability to an animal and they can snap suddenly if they feel they are threatened. Don't walk behind any animal to pet it-- let it see you at all times. And don't pet an animal that is eating -- a lot of them DO NOT LIKE.

RULE #5: KEEP FACES AWAY FROM FACES: I take a conservative stance on this, although I know many pet owners love having their dogs or cats lick their faces. Keep an "alpha postion" when petting an animal; this is especially important for children. As tempting as it is to get right in the face of an animal 'cause they is so durn cute, it just isn't a good idea. It only takes a second to receive a bite from a stressed or spooked animal. Also, dogs and cats clean their excretory areas with the tongues. You do not really want dog or cat poop germs all over your face, do you?

RULE #6: FOR THE ALLERGIC, EASY DOES IT. Pet allergies can be as mild as a stuffy nose or itchy eyes, or as severe as hives and a blowout of the respiratory system, and often run in families, and those families often end up disliking all pets because they are associated with unpleasant physical symptoms. If your allergies are on the lighter side, remember that it is not the animal's fur that is causing the reaction; it's the pets saliva, dander, or urine that may be on the fur. If you would like to greet a pet, keep your face as far away as you can, don't vigorously pet the animal, and remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Outdoors is better than indoors, too! Allergic people often complain that dogs and cats "know" it and specially come over to them just to be annoying. This is sort of true, because most housepets are intensely interested in anyone in the home. If you don't offer them at least a short greeting, some are just compelled by curiosity to get it out of you one way or another!

For all the warnings above, I want to repeat that it is a very good thing, even if you just plain don't dig cats or dogs, to know how to interact with animals just for safety's sake alone. I can't tell you how many times I've seen children scream at animals or be too rough or pull at tails, and that is dangerous. Adults, too, need to know how to handle themselves around animals they may encounter, because we are a pet-loving world, and they are just everywhere you go. So, good luck and good petting!


Living in Seattle has some really, really positive aspects to it, besides the bluest skies you've ever seen for 2 months out of the year. The #1 greatest thing for me is the incredible music scene, of course, with  cool events going on every single day of the year. In February, I was super-mega-maxi lucky to be able to be a little part of a music video shoot for Seattle rock legends Mudhoney, which took place at the visually-delectable Radar Hair and Records in the SODO district. The band had made an open call for extras and I thought, heyyyyy, it would be really fun to be able to bring my camera along to document the whole filming process and be able to give fans a behind-the-scenes look. I contacted director Carlos Lopez with my idea and he very kindly said, yeah, do it! Wheeee!

The song (which everyone certainly learned by heart that night!) is "I Like It Small," from Mudhoney's ninth album, the brand-spankin'-new "Vanishing Point" on Sub Pop Records, and the video was going to be a continuous shot, single camera process so everything had to be timed perfectly. The evening started out at Radar by everyone nomming on multi-boxes of pizza and sucking down a keg o' brew while the crew finished setting up the space for the shoot. It was pretty nifty to see so many of my friends and music people I know there. I ate a slice o' 'za and tried to scope out where I should stand so that I could get some good shots without tripping over all the video equipment and cables and ruining everything like a ruinous ruiner.


It is relatively rare when I hear song lyrics that provoke very complex emotions in me; admittedly, I listen to sound first, then the lyrics, and sometimes I don't pay that much attention to the words even then. This isn't at all that I think that lyrics are unimportant, but if you want to grab my attention from the music, there has to be something really special in those words to get me thinking. 

"Minotaur" is the first release from Thee Oh Sees' "Floating Coffin" (Castle Face Records), available on April 16th. The track became my favorite in what is another fine and varied album overall; right away, they had me at the sad, gauzy parlor room viola and the reverb-laden dream-surf guitar. It's a difficult to fully articulate how I felt when John Dwyer began singing, his delivery earnest, indifferent, defiant, and resigned all at once, in this allegorical story of the minotaur, the mythological monster who was banished to live in a labyrinth, feeding on human sacrifices and unlucky warriors. I thought of "Foxconn City" in China, where nets were erected to prevent worker suicides, or the furniture factories in North Carolina where employees are poisoned and permanently disabled every day by glue fumes that shred their nervous systems, or all the people I have known in my life who have died more than lived, chained to jobs they despised, and could not leave. 

Oil slick in my dinner
It makes me sick, in the air 
And the dream on my lips
Is getting thinner with each day
And yet I'm getting paid.

I get sick at my work 
every day
There is no cure but to stay, stay away without pay
And the horns upon my head
Are getting thicker with each day
I take my meals there, I sleep in the maze.

Men get sick at their work
each and every day
There ain't no cure but to stay
Stay home today and go to the beach instead
And the dreams, in their heads
Cannot be found in the maze, or so they say.

Whether my interpretation of the lyrics was "correct" or not isn't at all important. What is meaningful is that they provoked me to deeper thought and reflection, and this is valuable and appreciated indeed.

I am quite happy to say that the band has made an excellent video for "Minotaur," and that they have an awesome sense of humor. Enjoy it (might be a touch gory for kiddies or sensitive sorts), and think about going to the beach sometime soon.

Thee Oh Sees, "Minotaur"