Happy Halloween 09' - OOGIE BOOGIE!

We've never had much money, but this year we were a whole new LOW level of broke, so I had to show restraint when it came to decorating for Halloween. But it was also our first year with a yard so I HAD to do something...

These are gravestone I made out of cardboard and paint.

But the real decorations are my paper mache Lock, Shock, Barrel and Oogie Boogie.

Yes, Ooogie is covered in paper towels. I couldn't afford the burlap. (Yup. Burlap's a luxury, peoples. I need that money for Coop's lunch.)

But perhaps it adds to the whole 'Eco-Etsy' look that's oh-so-chic right now.

Cooper likes to hug these creepy creatures. He says he loves Oogie Boogie. He sings the songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas to them.

Daddy's taking Cooper (or should I say, 'Animal') out for trick or treating. I'm on candy duty at home where I'll be watching every Simpson's Treehouse of Horror.



If you know my kid at all, you know that he has a sick obsession with The Muppet Show. It's my own fault. I always loved it when I was young and so I introduced it to him. Now he's addicted. He watches it every night before bedtime.

For Halloween this year, he wanted to be "Animal." Big surprise. He IS Animal. I didn't have a lot to spend, but give me some feathers, faux fur and Styrofoam and I can conquer the world!

It came out pretty good. Not perfect, mind you, but pretty darn good. What did Cooper think? Well, take a look...

He REFUSED to take the costume off once he put it on. I told him he had to save it for Saturday. He was outraged. To him, this outfit is perfect for any occasion, any day, any time, from now on and forever...I've created a monster.

It Came, It Saw, It Made Me Old...and Joyous, Too

Birthday week began with our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. We didn't venture to the super deluxe primo patch in Sherman Oaks that we usually patron. We stayed in our Tujunga neighborhood. We've been keepin' trips close to home...evil car woes. Don't get me started on car repair. I mean it. DON'T!

When traveling to a lot full of stinky hay...always wear your enormous sunglasses and pearls. You won't look out of place at all!

This pumpkin patch did not have the bells and whistles of our previous patch. There was no hot cider, no fun wagons to pull around, no face painting. But they did have a Spiderman Bounce House WITH A SLIDE...

To Cooper the place was Dave & Buster's.

We picked out a small pumpkin for him to take to school for an art project and a big fattie 20-pounder to carve on Halloween. Cooper already said, "Mommy, don't cut it!" Hate to break your heart kid, but pumpkins are here to be gutted and turned into ghoulish gourd art. And we're going to eat the seeds. Welcome to your new annual barbaric holiday ritual.

On my actual birthday, I made myself some cupcakes. My boy sang to me.

My husband gave me a Snuggie. EXUBERANT YEAH! Make all the fun you want. I've used it EVERY DARN DAY since I got it. I can relax on the couch and read, knit, talk on the phone, and catch objects that are being thrown at my face, all while staying comfortably warm. Why? Because my blanket has sleeves and yours doesn't.

I had to end birthday week with a bang. On Saturday I kicked the boys out of the house (they had a sleep-over at Uncle Sean's) and invited my gal pals over for a slumber party. I hear your thoughts. "Oh? Did you turn 32 or 14?" Answer...I'm forever 14. Not Forever 21. Their clothes are too small for me.

My friend Jess Trimble (and yes, I WILL always refer to her that way) flew in from New York. Sichi, Turnip, Carrie, Chantal, Kayla and Kenny (the only male aloud to attend) all came to party down. We made our own pizzas, did our nails, talked about stupid boys, played games, won prizes, ate candy, chips, and ice cream. I wish I had some pictures, but I was too busy laughing. I don't know if anyone else took photos. They were all really drunk! I wasn't drinking, for obvious reasons. More on that story as it expands, grows, bloats and takes over my body. Happy birthday to moi :)

Smile Like You Mean It

It's the day before my birthday. I'm suffering from the same "becoming elderlier" malaise that has plagued me on this day for the past several years. I'm glum. Why? Because I don't like getting older.

It's not a looks thing. I've dealt with having an appearance that has oodles of, um, "character," for most of my life. Seeing my body sag and drag is not worrisome. It's just more character, right?

What irks me is the idea that I'm running out of time to actualize my dreams. I think back to an idealistic college grad who was certain that by 30 she'd have a job as an actor or artist. I put my eggs in two baskets thinking if one falls, well, I have the other.

PRESENT ME TALKING TO YOUTHFUL ME: "Hey, Miss Ebulliant! Double checked the durability of those baskets! They're not those fancy baskets woven by hand in Nantucket. They're the plastic ones sold around Easter in CVS...cheap rubbish. One of those baskets should have more than just eggs. It should have skills and a career plan!"

I told you I was glum.

And when I'm that way, I put on a good face for my kid. That's what mommies do. They smile like they mean it. They make lunches that spell out their affection.

If you really mean it, say it with alphabet cinnamon cookies from Trader Joe's.

I do really mean it. And when my boy saw the plate and said, "That's for me! That says COOPER!" I didn't have to fake a smile. It happened quite naturally.


When we moved to Tujunga, we had a big wall that needed art. Jakob wanted to hang work I'd already completed. I begged him not to. I wanted to make something new.

I started this painting in August. It took nearly 3 months, but I am done. At over 160" long, it covers the entire wall.

The first panel features Cooper looking into the fish tank. I was going to add more color and detail to his hair and shirt, but there's something about the soft, almost out-of-focus quality of the image. I decided to leave it be. I don't make that choice often in my work. I usually futz with stuff until I futz it up.

The second panel is where I let things get nutty. There are Chicken Fish, fish with spectacles and mustaches, (kinda resembling R. Crumb) a stingray because one once jumped up at Cooper, and a Rock-A-Billy Fish. The Crossword Fish was a last minute idea for a fish that I just didn't have an idea for. It has grown to be one of my favorites.

The third panel is the most busy and the most representative of Cooper. There's a Peanut Butter and Jelly Fish. There are Jack-O-Lantern Fish, Santa Claus Fish, Dog Fish, Dinosaur Fish and an octopus--all things he digs. Oh, and a sea anemone, 'cause that's where Nemo lives.

This painting is for Cooper. I'm sure it's too big and too loud and too crazy...but I suppose that's indicative of his mommy. I hope he likes it.

I think he does.

Devo's First Birthday!

Thank you so much to the Gantz Family and to Devo for being born! Way to go, kid! Here's some pictures from the celebration...