2011: The Year of Firsts

Posted on Thursday 23 June 2011

First let me say I’m sorry for letting so much time pass before posting. As you will read I’ve been busy, but that’s no excuse and I promise to post more frequently. Now let me get you up to speed… the first half of the year has flown by. I’m calling 2011 “the year of firsts” because due to world economic woes, disasters, political turmoil, etc., I have taken more of a “why not? what have I got to lose?” attitude when confronted with new challenges and experiences. Here are some examples:


Madmen costume, professional hair & make up and a martini helped me get into character.

JANUARY: FIRST STAND-UP ACT IN FRONT OF A LARGE AUDIENCE
Over the years I’ve dabbled in writing comedy in the form of jokes and limericks, and usually end up reciting them at holidays and family gatherings. I did my first stand-up act in a holiday talent show with about 10 family members, and have done a few others for small parties since then. But this year, one of my dear friends who’s a professional event planner, asked me to do a stand-up act for her birthday event, which was on a whole other level, including professional stage, lighting, sound, and 200+ guests! My style is a little “blue” as we call it in the biz, so I decided to write my routine like a roast for my friend and the event planning industry (which I’m also connected to through my graphic design business and volunteerism). Long story short I got a lot of laughs and some big gasps—the latter came when I poked fun at some of Santa Barbara’s best known events—Fiesta (Old Spanish Days) and the Summer Solstice Parade. My friend took the roast extremely well and several people told me later they enjoyed my 10 minute act immensely. Would I do it again? SURE!

FEBRUARY-APRIL: FIRST TIME WORKING FOR ANOTHER DESIGN FIRM
It’s not exactly the first time I’ve ever worked for another design firm, before I started my own business I worked for Davies Communications, but it’s the first time I’ve worked in someone else’s office since the late 90s! What I’m speaking of is a full-time temporary contract I took from February through April at Redbeard Communications. As a business owner, one tends to wonder what it would be like to work for someone else and not have to deal with all the minutia that can be overwhelming at times when you wear so many hats. This opportunity came along at a time when I was in that mindset, and my clients were in a low maintenance phase, so I said “why not?” In reflection, I think the phrase “the grass is always greener” applies pretty well here. Don’t get me wrong, Redbeard is wonderful. They do incredible work with great copy writing and concept for clients on a national level, and their office is a super-cool space with polished concrete floors, brick and wrought iron accents and vintage Vegas signs. But the commute really got to me (45 min each way) and the lack of time for friends, family, my clients and volunteer commitments really took a toll. I hadn’t realized how I manage to squeeze those things in during my normal work day in my own office and can still be extremely productive. Overall it was a great experience in taking on a challenge and learning new techniques, and it energized me to take a fresh new look at Stensland Design. Would I do it again? Maybe.


Artwork and structures at City Center

MAY: FIRST TIME AT CITY CENTER & THE ARIA, LAS VEGAS
It certainly wasn’t my first time in Las Vegas, but I wanted to mention the trip because I always think of my trips there as inspiration for all things designed by humans. There truly is a treasure trove of artwork, sculpture, architecture, interior & exterior design, lighting, sound, performance art and more to marvel at. I always take a ton of photos of things that inspire me and broaden my mind. On this trip—a get together with my sisters and brothers-in-law to watch family friend Andy Cooney perform at the new Irish pub “Rí Rá” at Mandalay Bay—I got inspiration from City Center and the Aria. What an amazing feat of architecture and design! You truly “feel” the space as you walk through. Aroma-therapeutic essence of vanilla floats through the expansive lobby, coupled with scintillating lighting and decor elements. The exterior buildings frame works by Moore, Oldenburg and many others with their enormous stainless steel and glass towers, brushed aluminum diagonal walls, and dancing fountains. This is a must-see for anyone who is interested in experiencing the latest creations from some the best artists, designers and craftspeople in the world. Would I go there again? Definitely.


Wine group tasting and revealing the wine. Chefs preparing gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

MAY: FIRST RIVER ROAD WINE TRAIL TASTING PARTY
The wine tasting club I’m in requires all members to host one party per year. So though this wasn’t the first time I tasted wine this year, it was the first tasting I’ve hosted! My husband Jay and I have taken an interest in the River Road wineries, because they are so close—River Road is an extension of Reservation Road, the main road in our town, so this wine corridor is literally right down the street. Plus, the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA where the River Road wines are grown, is renown for reds, particularly Pinot but a whole host of other varietals as well. For our tasting we asked that each person or couple bring a River Road Wine Trail red or white for a blind tasting in which tasters would select their favorite red and white, and then the wines would be revealed. There was some magnificent wine! It was complemented by artisan grilled-cheese sandwiches made by chefs Jay and Steve, as well as other complimentary snacks brought by guests. The winning wines were: Red—Luli Pinot Noir and White—Talbott Chardonnay. Would I do it again? Not likely, because there are so many other wines to taste!

MISC: JUST A FEW THINGS I’VE BEEN WORKING ON…
These are samples of some of the designs I’ve done over the past months. I’m working on a few exciting projects now that I’ll blog about in the coming weeks and months. I’m looking forward to more firsts and more fun in 2011, so stay tuned!

admin @ 3:49 pm
Filed under: Art and Design and Events and Travel
My Marina Essentials

Posted on Tuesday 23 March 2010

Over the years I have discovered places in Marina that make my life more enjoyable. They are places that nourish my body and soul, and make me feel so relaxed that I forget to recognize how special they are. To honor these places I’m calling this post my Marina essentials. Though my essential places may change from time to time—businesses come and go, and I’m always discovering new ones—it is my hope that all of these places will be here as long as I am.

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Bike Path: It runs down Del Monte through Marina along the old train tracks between HWY1 and the Monterey Bay, and this bike path isn’t just for biking… I run, ride and walk on it from Marina in both directions. The photos above reflect the gorgeous 8 mile ride from Marina to Monterey Harbor.

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Tico’s Breakfast & Lunch: It’s essential for every town to have a consistently impressive breakfast restaurant, and Marina has Tico’s. It’s the kind of place you take family and friends for breakfast when they’re visiting. Florentine Benedict (above) is my “special occasion” meal. I’d put Tico’s homemade fresh daily hollandaise sauce up against any chef’s, including Pebble Beach! Marina Bagels & Donuts: It’s essential because the bagels are so delicious. They are usually hot out of the oven and cooked to perfection. Service is super speedy, the coffee is good and yes, on rare occasion an apple fritter stares me down and I can’t resist. Coffee Mia Brew Bar: In a world of corporate coffee chains it’s nice to have a locally owned shop that serves up tasty treats and fresh brewed java. This is a great place for client meetings and friendly get-togethers and the owners exemplify generosity and community support.

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Marina Library & Locke Paddon Park:
Because they add so much beauty and wildlife to the neighborhood. The architectural design of the library is harmonious with it’s natural surroundings, including a fantastic new decomposed granite walking path which provides a place to exercise while taking in views of the park and bay.

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Everyone’s Harvest Marina Farmers Market: It’s essential because it offers the best in local organic produce. It’s low-cost, walkable and a great place to go on Sunday to load up on fresh fruits & veggies for the week. REI: Our own fantastic co-op store featuring high-quality outdoor adventuring gear which is what Marina is all about—outdoor adventure! It’s a wonderful addition to the Dunes shopping center and attracts outdoor enthusiasts to come and discover Marina. English Ales Brewery: The fact that Marina has it’s own brewery is reason enough for it to be one of my essentials. English Ales Brewery is the best place to have a pint of Big Sur Golden Ale (above) with my Marina friends and neighbors.

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Fort Ord Dunes State Park: Literally right down the street between HWY 1 and the ocean lies Dunes State Park, 4 miles of beachfront property with a 1500 foot trail and beautiful views of Monterey Bay. It’s a jewel for all types of recreational activity.

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Papa Chevo’s: It’s essential for me to have good authentic Mexican food nearby, especially a great burrito to go. I consider myself a tough critic after living in Santa Barbara, home of Cuca’s and La Super-Rica, and I was very pleased to discover Papa Chevo’s a tiny drive-through taqueria serving up some incredible burritos (veggie and breakfast are my faves). For those who prefer to walk or bike there’s a window for you too, and if you’re environmentally concerned you’ll be happy to note the burritos are served in recyclable paper wrap.

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Giant Agave: I love cacti and succulents because they remind me of so-cal and warm sunshine. These neighbors have managed to grow beautiful agave plants in their yard—maybe they’re planning to make some tequila! Lion Gargoyle: Due to the salty air and difficulty growing plants and flowers, Marina is home to many cool and kitschy lawn ornaments. The lion gargoyle above is exceptionally dignified and I’m always compelled to high-five it for good luck whenever I run by. Sale Pending: It’s essential to me that things are looking up in Marina!

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Thank You: To my dog Roxy, who is my running partner and comes with me on most of my excursions discovering new places. Also thanks to the many other businesses and places in Marina that make life more enjoyable… stay tuned for My Marina Essentials Part 2!

admin @ 10:54 am
Filed under: Misc.
Waves & Nods

Posted on Saturday 13 February 2010

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AT&T Pro-Am, Saturday, February 13: I woke up and tuned in to the Mavericks surf contest live streaming video. The waves were, (to borrow a word from the Mavericks commentator) drillin’! The footage was fantastic. I thought a carrot and orange juice would be good, but we didn’t have any OJ, so I decided to make us a Bloody Mary. Also that would save me and Jay about $12 each at Pebble Beach. We made a quick stop at Marina Beach to check out the size of our local waves (above). Then headed for the bus to Pebble, which was a rocking good time featuring the tunes of Bob Marley, Beck and Wild Cherry. Play that funky music…

Once we arrived at the tourney, I noticed how warm the day was. The sky was crystal clear. Footage from the MetLife blimp must have been amazing. As soon as I saw the bay, the size of the waves took my breath away. The scenery was beyond spectacular. We headed south past the 18th hole to find a vantage point. After some walking, I gravitated toward watching Sergio Garcia and Josh Duhamel (because they happen to be fascinating golfers!) Josh made a nice put into the hole on 16 (woot! i mean, golf clap.) Then came John Daly and Tony Romo. John Daly looks good, he has lost a lot of weight, but that’s no excuse for the tiger-stripped silk pajama pants he was wearing!

The highlight of the day came when we found a nook in the fence at the 16th tee. It allowed us to stand literally 5 feet from where the player tees off. And guess who was coming our way? MICK! (Phil Mickelson) It was great to see him so closely. Security quickly enhanced as he got ready to drive. He got into position… then he stopped. He was frustrated. One of the officials yelled at an onlooker for taking a picture of him as he prepared to tee off. Come on people! NO CAMERAS!! They really can’t have enough signs.

We stopped at the pro shop to look at the US Open gear. The polo I liked was $95, so I decided on a visor. On the way back to the buses we strolled past the driving range where lot of players warm up and cool down during the tourney. Josh Duhamel was there, and he was walking towards me on the other side of the fence. I had a big smile on my face and he smiled back at me and nodded! I had to look behind me just to make sure… I was happy to see that there was nobody there.

admin @ 8:48 pm
Filed under: Events
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2010

Posted on Friday 12 February 2010

Thursday, February 11: Let me start with a big THANKS to my dear friend and lunch buddy Jan, who gave me her season passes again this year. In the past I hadn’t taken advantage of the weekday events included in the passes, but this year was different. Work has been a little slow, and I could use some good fortune rubbing off on me from the elbows of the stars. Thursday and Friday are the best days to see the celebrities because the crowds are smaller and the players are more relaxed.

The bus ride to Pebble was long and winding but I liked it. The scenery is so beautiful it’s easy to let my imagination drift and think about which house I would buy if I could afford it. Once we arrived at Pebble we jumped a bus to Monterey Peninsula Country Club which Jay said had the best players to watch. The course is on 17 Mile Drive between Asilomar and Pebble Beach. Words can hardly describe the beauty of the rocky coastline, crashing waves, soft dunes and native plants lining the course. The morning sun was warm with an occasional cold sea spray blowing through carrying the sounds of barking seals. A family of deer grazed along the rough.

We found a lively intersection to several holes and decided it was a good place to plant ourselves. Within minutes we spotted Vijay Singh and Tom Brady. As Jay studied Vijay’s golf swing, I couldn’t help but notice how, um, tall Tom Brady is. See golf can be fun for everyone! At one point I had an ideal photo opportunity of Vijay teeing off on the 11th hole, a little bluff about 8 feet above me—but no! No cameras or cell phones allowed. At that vantage point we also saw Andy Garcia, George Lopez, Don Cheadle, and a bunch of golfers (I didn’t happen to catch their names.)

My best celebrity moment (or I should say comedy moment) came when Jay went to the restroom and I was standing nearby waiting… and, I just happened to be standing right next to Chris O’Donnell! We were the only ones standing there, and we made eye contact and said “hi” to each other. Then we quietly watched the players for a few moments. Then he turned to me and said as he pointed, “is this the right way to the next hole?” I began to reply and he said “oh sorry, I was talking to him” and I turned around to realize his caddy was standing right behind me!

A beer and several miles later (11:00 is okay for beer if you’re watching golf!) we spotted Bill Murray who is always fun to watch. He picked up a rake and started goofing around with it. Being that he was so close, and nobody was in between us, I got this strange urge to run after him and make him defend himself from me with the rake. I was either daydreaming about Meatballs, or I’ve been watching too much reality TV. Either way Jay got me out of there just in time.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of the tourney will bring…

admin @ 5:31 pm
Filed under: Events
Stensland Design—Small Business of the Year!

Posted on Monday 8 February 2010

On January 22, 2010, the Marina Chamber of Commerce and the City of Marina presented the 2009 Marina Community Awards at the Annual Installation & Awards Dinner. President Joe Sweeney said “We are proud to recognize the hardworking business owners and citizens of Marina. Their dedication to providing products and services within the city of Marina and beyond is what the Chamber works to develop and support.”

Stensland Design was awarded Small Business of the Year, for the following reasons, as presented by Gwen Wells, Chamber Vice President. “Stensland Design has worked to better our community through design in a variety of ways. Susan created the new City of Marina logo and has assisted the city with a variety of visual communications. 2009 was Susan’s third year serving on the Marina Economic Development Commission. She is a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, where she volunteers her graphic skills to create the weekly E-Newsletter and assists with other graphic and communication needs. In 2009 Susan chaired the International Flavors of Marina event as well as created all the graphics to market the event. She is the decor design chair for CSUMB’s annual Have A Heart For Students fundraising gala, and she runs her own business, Stensland Design, serving clients from Santa Barbara to Portland from her Marina office.”

Other recipients of the 2009 Marina Community Awards:
Large Business of the Year—Rabobank (Marina Branch)
New Business of the Year—The Gazette
Non-Profit of the Year—Marina International Festival of the Winds
Service Club of the Year—Builder’s Club
Outstanding Educational Contribution of the Year—Learning for Life Charter School
Woman of the Year—Inez Lockwood
Man of the Year—Cambrel Marshall
Marina City Employee of the Year—Team Marina (all city staff and employees)

admin @ 9:44 am
Filed under: Design and Events
1950 Champions Reunion

Posted on Tuesday 15 September 2009

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My dad is a one-of-a-kind. He was born in Ketchican, Alaska, and raised fishing and hunting which he still does avidly at 78. His family moved to Monterey where he played football in high school and college, then coached it at my high school in Santa Ynez, along with track & field and teaching wood shop. He’s an expert craftsman in everything from building houses to cabinets to furniture, to life-like animal carvings. He’s a master storyteller. This may sound like a proud daughter boasting, but it’s true. He’s pretty modest about it, but every once in awhile I get stories about him from other people, and last weekend was one of those times.

He was in town for the Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) Celebration for their 1950 Southern Division Champion team, the Lobos, for which he was a tackle. They had a 9-2 record that season, but more importantly, in the school’s 61 years of athletic competition, no other team has generated as much excitement, enthusiasm, school spirit, or community support. For the 1950 team, parades, dances, and bonfire pep rallies surrounded every home game and every home stadium was filled to capacity. Fans chartered buses, trains and even planes for away games. The team got headline coverage in the local paper throughout the entire season. It was a special year indeed.

My mom was a yell leader, so that might be part of the reason—trust me, she has a lot of enthusiasm. But there was something else, something very special about the closeness in Monterey then that was quite remarkable. I’ve heard about it and seen it over the years when mom and dad attend their class reunions. I saw it again on Saturday at the celebration and heard all about it through the stories of those present, which were told as if it all happened yesterday. There was an excellent article in the Herald about the team and the celebration too. About a dozen guys from the 1950 team attended the event, along with their friends and families. After MPC many of them went on to do very impressive work as leaders in public life, sports, and education.

I visited Monterey numerous times as a kid to see family and friends, but I never thought I’d end up living here. As fate would have it my husband took a job that moved us up from Santa Barbara. The 1950 champions reunion reminded me that my family history is deeply rooted in this area and that’s something I’m very proud of.

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Photos: Top—1950 Lobos team (Dad is #57 back row far right). Bottom—1950 Lobos Yell Leaders (Mom is seated 3rd from right)

admin @ 6:28 pm
Filed under: Events
Highlights From the Last Few Months

Posted on Tuesday 30 June 2009

It’s been months since my last post. I’d like to say I’ve been too busy, but I think it’s just a time-management issue. During the spring and summer I usually give myself way too many side projects. I like to clean things out, reorganize, start new regimes, etc. That coupled with work and visiting friends and family and I find myself wondering, where did the time go? And by the way, it really does go faster each year.

I have plenty to share from the past few months, so I decided to put it all in one big post. Then hopefully I’ll get back into a once-a-month posting pattern.

MARCH:
Jay and I hosted our yearly party for the wine club we belong to Marina Winos. Our theme was “The Pampered Wino” and our good friend and resident Pampered Chef representative, Josh Gentle, did a cooking demonstration and presented his wares to guests while they tasted wines and nominated the best pairings.

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Josh preparing an appetizer amongst the kitchen wares

APRIL:
I actually started this project prior to April, but the design was approved and really starting to take shape in April. One of my Clients asked me to create a semi-permanent display for the waiting room at their headquarters. With a combination of interior wall painting, mounted photos and cut-to-form images, I created an attractive display that told the story of what the organization does and who it serves. Coupled with the new tile they installed and other interior improvements, the display adds to a uniquely inviting and welcoming space.

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Display from a few angles

MAY:
Again with the wine tasting! Another member of our wine club hosted their annual party in Paso Robles, California. We drove down in the morning and slipped in a quick tasting at Firestone before we met up with the group at Martin & Weyrich for a tasting and fabulous snacks. The group then moved on to Grey Wolf (great Zins!), followed by Poalillo—one of the “Far Out” wineries—where we had picnic lunch (thank goodness). After lunch we headed east to San Miguel and stopped at Graveyard Vineyard and Silver Horse. A wonderful day with a lot of great tastes, and big thanks to our designated driver.

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Enjoying a taste at Poalillo

MAY:
Later in the month I had the pleasure of flying down to Palm Springs to meet up with a group of incredible women who are some of my closest friends. Originally the plan had been to go Salulita, Mexico, for one of the gal’s birthday, but in May the Swine Flu was in full swing, so that quickly got tossed out in favor of an easier destination. One of the girls offered her family vacation home to the group—and the fun ensued! I don’t get my chick fix very often, so spending a handful of days and nights with 7 women was a hoot in the extreme. We talked non-stop in the morning over coffee, exercising, by the pool, shopping, going out for dinner or drinks, you name it! And we laughed and cried and watched Dancing with the Stars. It was both therapeutic and delightful.

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Balmy days, and starry nights in Palm Springs

JUNE:
Back to more wine and food tasting! But this time it was mixed in with a whole lot of work. I volunteered to be the chairperson for the 5th Annual International Flavors of Marina, the Marina Chamber’s biggest fundraiser and tasting event. To make a long story short, we had a terrific committee comprised of very talented people who helped me put together an amazing event including 25 restaurant and winery participants, 2 wonderful local bands, a VIP lounge designed by an incredible local interior consultant and staging designer, and it was (almost) a zero waste event! It took place at a great new shopping center in Marina, The Dunes on Monterey Bay, which is leased out except for our event space, which is totally empty with cement floors and steel raftered ceilings. We created a lovely setting inside by using temporary walls and lighting. Those elements coupled with the beautiful table displays provided by our restaurant participants gave the space a lively “night on the town” feel. The event drew 300 guests from all around the county, and was a huge success. I was so busy working the crowd and running around I hardly got to taste a bite or have a sip of wine until after everyone left and the committee and friends gathered in the VIP lounge to celebrate a job well done—bon appetit and cheers to all who made it possible!

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Tasting fine foods, mingling and relaxing. The after-party in the VIP lounge.

JUNE:
Two of Jay’s sisters and a brother-in-law visited us last weekend and we took them to the “Rat Pack” show at Casa Sorrento in Salinas. It was great fun! We had seen the Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior impersonators before, but this time Frank Sinatra was there as well. He was fantastic, and he brought a gal from London that could really sing too. She wasn’t an impersonator, but she totally looked the part of a 40s blues singer. The food was wonderful (wood burning pizza oven—yum) and the show was a memorable treat for all.

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Does this even need a caption?

admin @ 1:26 pm
Filed under: Design and Events
Artist Interpretation?

Posted on Thursday 29 January 2009

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Millions of people have become familiar with the Barack Obama campaign poster Hope by artist Shepard Fairey. It captured the rise of the candidate-come-president by depicting him in a style reminiscent of the Work Projects Administration (WPA) posters of the 30s and 40s. You may not know his name, but Fairey’s artwork is world-wide. He gained fame in the 80s with his guerilla street-artist campaign to plaster stickers depicting his Obey Giant image on public surfaces across the US. I remember seeing Obey stickers on stop signs, sidewalks, telephone poles and windows.

As a designer, I grew to respect Fairey’s ability to market his work through innovation. I’ve seen his star rise over the years, and envied how his work has spun off into merchandise like books, t-shirts and a wide variety of gift items. When I first saw the Obama Hope poster I thought, that poster will go down in history!

Well, yes, but maybe not in the way I originally thought. The day after Obama’s inauguration, it was revealed that Inquirer photographer Tom Gralish had uncovered the mystery of the photograph that “inspired” Fairey’s graphic depiction—an AP photo taken by Manny Garcia. In Gralish’s blog report, he provides a link to an incredible simulation showing how close the Fairey depiction actually is to the original photo, which was not credited anywhere in Fairey’s work.

My first reaction was to defend Fairey in the name of artist interpretation—the practice of using an existing image for inspiration, but then turning it into something new by incorporating one’s own point of view. Simply using a different medium is not enough to constitute artist interpretation, steps must also be taken to give the piece new meaning, encourage viewers to rethink it, or react differently to it. Andy Warhol’s Cambell’s Soup Cans is an example. However, with Warhol’s work and others like it, valid arguments have been made for copyright infringement or even plagiarism.

I wasn’t sure which category the Obama Hope poster was in, so I did more searching and came up with this thorough article by Los Angeles artist Mark Vallen on the history of Fairey, his work, and his failure to credit where credit is due. The more I learned, the more I am leaning toward plagiarism. It saddens me that a young, current, popular artist like Fairey opportunistically reworks so many strong, historically relevant images and sells them to a new generation in the form of apparel and other swag, yet neglects to mention the purpose, meaning, and artist from which they originated.

admin @ 2:45 pm
Filed under: Art and Design
Girls Night – Holiday Style

Posted on Tuesday 16 December 2008

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Can I just say it’s really hard to move away from the town you “grew up” in? I lived in Santa Barbara from age 19-36, and in those formative years cultivated some of the best, lasting friendships I have. Okay all friendships are great, and none “better” than others, but there’s something so special about the ones you’ve had that long.

There’s a group of girls I treasure getting together with when I’m in SB and our schedules permit. The gang of us started when I was 20 and working at Charthouse. It was there I met Terri, a fellow employee. Terri’s roommate Laurie soon joined the fun, then Laurie’s sister Lyssa. We were all roommates at one time or another. Then Lauren (a co-workers girlfriend) joined in. Then Lauren’s roommate Mary, then Mary’s roommate Kristi, then other roommates and co-workers, Jennifer, Serena and Sarah.

This group of gals has gone through weddings, babies, jobs, buying houses, moving out of SB, etc. and we still manage to stick together. We recently got as many as could attend to have dinner at The Chase. One of Santa Barbara’s oldest and most beloved restaurants, renown for their incredible Christmas decorations. It was another fun and festive reunion to add to our ever-growing list.

Thanks girls! Have a very merry Christmas and see you in 2009!

admin @ 5:27 pm
Filed under: Events
In the Swamp

Posted on Tuesday 16 December 2008

2008 was an exciting and nerve-racking political year both locally and nationally. Locally, I felt more connected, having known some of the candidates and being involved with the issues.

The national election was a bit more difficult to follow until I discovered a great political blog: Swampland. It’s run by TIME Magazine/CNN, and has excellent reporters with diverse styles and opinions. Although the bloggers are great, it’s really the commenters that make this blog so enjoyable. They are very in-depth with their comments. Some must also be political writers by profession, and some news-junkies who are quick to post the latest scoop. Others are more creative, funny and introspective. Every once in awhile a crazy troll will post something just to get everyone riled up.

My guess is many of the commenters live in DC or near enough to have their finger on the pulse. During the election it was like riding a roller-coaster daily with the commenting community as we debated the merits of candidates, campaign ads, Joe-the-Plummers, etc. I think we all had a hard time coming off that ride in the days that followed.

Now our discussions have turned to administration and senate seat appointments, the auto bail-out, Iraq and Afghanistan and the like. It’s still a diverse forum of history, projections, opinions and daily scoop. I recommend checking it out… but be careful, it can occupy a lot of time if you let it!

admin @ 5:07 pm
Filed under: Misc.