Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Superstition Mountain and the Jelly Monster

I've spent all of the new year in Africa so far. Well, not literally, but so far in January I've read 3 books all set in Africa. There's something about a land of witch doctors, cobras that race into the road and jump up under your car to attack the driver, and clueless Christians who get gobbled up by alligators as they try to baptize each other in the river that draws me in and just fascinates me. I just started my fourth book set in Africa and have 2 more on order. I guess I'm just obsessed.

Last weekend was a long one so we decided to use our passes to The Superstition Mountain Museum all the way out in Apache Junction.  It was a beautiful day, but we are definitely Phoenicians now. Every morning we put on sweaters or jackets before we leave the house even though we just wind up carrying them or leaving them in the car, because we would rather be hot than risk being cold. 

Naomi at Superstition Mountain

When we finally arrived at the remote desert town we were surprised to find it crawling with people.  There was a big festival happening with music, snacks and southwestern art on display.

It was an odd sort of festival, though.

In fact I can't even explain most of this.  It's a skeleton and a tarantula for some reason. 

This Navajo Artist had some nice work.

We peeked in the jail.

I hopped on the stage coach.  By the way, it's not all opulent and cool like in the movies.  In fact it's crowded, uncomfortable and kind of musty.

This is the Old Mill.

The Chapel (I think this was Elvis's chapel from a movie set.)

Phoebe loves getting her picture taken.

This poor donkey was in a tiny pen in the direct sun and was quite upset about it.

The faux entrance to the gold mine.

We eventually decided to check out the museum.

The wildlife display was a little strange, but interesting.

This is a javelina. Sort of a local wild pig that lives in the desert.  I've been hoping to spot one since we moved here, but so far this is the best I've done.

The museum was mostly about this guy Jacob Waltz, the crazy Dutchman who found a gold mine and everyone's been looking for it and possibly him ever since.  This is a number of crappy drawings of him.  Most of them are really terrible.

They had an entire wall of different treasure maps to the "Lost Dutchman Gold Mine".

This is what the opening to the gold mine might look like (if they could just find it.).

Mike and Naomi looking at a prospector's kitchen.

It looked like this.

After all that we headed into Apache Junction for some lunch at "The Hitching Post"

There was a country western band and lots of retirees dancing around.

The pizza took a while to come so we took pictures while we waited.

Here's Phoebe and Chloe's friend Melanie who came along for the day.

There was a lot of crazy stuff everywhere including this creepy guy lurking in the corner.  In the end it was a nice day out.  

 I've begun my sculpture for this year's Mutant Piñata Show at the Frontal Lobe Gallery!  This is my design.  I call him the Jelly Monster.

This is Chloe holding the base for my sculpture.  It's 4 feet in diameter!  It took over an hour to blow up as I don't have a pump.

And here it is started.... More progress coming soon!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Stranded in Phoenix

 ”If aliens are watching us through telescopes, they’re going to think the dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?”
Jerry Seinfeld


      Walking my dog yesterday morning, he stopped on the corner in front of a house and peed. Then we turned the corner and walked up the street when a woman popped out from behind a tall gate. Dogs barked like mad behind her as she confronted me with "I saw you stop on the corner and I have to ask you not to pee in my yard." She really startled me so my instant response was "I didn't." (of course my dog did). Then she went on with "Well, I really have a problem with people peeing and pooping in my yard." I said nothing, because I was trying so very hard not to laugh. Then she went on and on about angry neighbors and her five dogs that were raped or something. Anyway after five minutes I finally showed her my bags and told her I always clean up. Unfortunately, I still can't stop picturing all her neighbors pooping in the yard. It's not always good to be a visual person.

It's been 2014 for 10 days and already there are exciting things in the news, like this "Polar Vortex" that's sent most of this country in a deep freeze.  I've lived in negative temperatures before, when we lived in upstate New York and I have to say it's a lot nicer watching it on the news feed while I walk outside in shirtsleeves to my car in our 70ºF temperatures.  The great thing about this polar vortex is that it stranded my cousin, Laura, in Phoenix for a day as every flight to Buffalo was cancelled. I haven't seen her in 7 years!!

We went walking through Steele Indian School Park looking for the huge coyote that's been rumored to be lurking around.  

We never found him.  I also was unable to find my camera that day (even though it's bright red and that's why I bought it), so all these photo's are courtesy of Laura. Thanks Laura!

And here's Chloe (with Phoebe), who was too lazy to come for a walk but was happy to go out to the restaurant later on.

This week I'm gearing up for the beginning of a big project…. This year's mutant piñata show is just around the corner!  Pictures are coming soon.
“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance”-Calvin (Calvin and Hobbs)


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