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It’s Time for the #Oscars: Ron’s Rankings plus a Thomas Fire Doc by teen siblings

February 24, 2019

While I love good movies maybe a bit more than the next person, and while I have eclectic tastes (being the Art Predator and all), for years I have left the serious reviews to my friend Ron Wells, who then shares them with me to publish here as well as a list of ranked and recommended films.

This year, we’ve both been busy and so haven’t posted as many film reviews as I have in the past years, but I’d be seriously remiss if, here on the night of the Oscars, I neglected to post Ron’s Rankings for 2018. See the list of the 91st Academy Awards nominees here.

“If 2017 was a poor year in films for me, then 2018 was a little bit better, but still not great,” notes Ron. “The documentaries and the foreign films were the ones that I really enjoyed.” Below are Ron’s rankings with his notes; mine are in italics. 

Read more…

Put Some Sparkle in Your Life

February 14, 2019


Do you want to put some extra special SPARKLE into your life? Or the life of someone you love?

While sparkling wine is mighty fine (like these four sparkling wines that won’t break the piggy bank: two from Italy’s Rotari and two from France’s LaVieille Ferme), consider making a contribution to Burning Man artist and pyropainter Deniz Nicole to bring her Karousal Kandeo and Kaleidoscope Kandeo art installations to the LA Bequinox Regional and to the Black Rock Desert for the 2019 Burning Man Festival — and get something sparkling sent to your home as a thank you!

Deniz’s sparkly Kaleidoscopes or charms would make a great SPARKLY present Read more…

Today Let Freedom Ring with “Moodswings–Spiritual High” featuring Chrissie Hynde and MLK

January 21, 2019

Check out this very uplifting song using words from MLK’s: Let Freedom Ring today!

image by Dianne Bennet

In other years, Read more…

A Prayer for the New Year of the Trees on this Wolf Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

January 20, 2019

Two sycamores at Arroyo Verde Park in Ventura; the area was hit hard by the Thomas Fire but these trees are recovering.

Tonight there’s a lunar eclipse that will be seen over most of North America — and it’s not in the middle of the night! Unfortunately it’s in the middle of winter with much of the US covered by clouds and a major winter storm with some of the coldest day of the season with temps below zero.

Here on the west coast where we live in Ventura, it’s hazy. While we had a stunning sunset and moonrise, I wonder if we will be able to see anything during the eclipse…

Read more…

Join Us for The Women’s March 1/19/19

January 15, 2019

It’s clear that the election of Trump to the office of President served as a catalyst for the historic and massive worldwide 2017 Women’s March which inspired hundreds of women to run for office and millions of women to support them in winning in November 2018, when the #WomensWave swept into office record numbers of women and people of color.

This Saturday, 1/19/19,  we again march to send our message to President Trump — and to show our newly elected representatives that we have their backs as they prepare to fight on behalf of women and families. Together, our #WomensWave will keep growing and letting the Trump administration know that diverse women will continue to be a wall of power against his destructive agenda!

Why am I marching? Why will I be wearing my pussy hat this winter once again?

  • As a woman, it terrifies me that he has bragged about sexual assault.
  • As a taxpayer, it shocks me that he has bragged about not paying taxes.
  • As a citizen, I see that his billionaire cabinet selections lack the qualifications necessary to carry out their tasks.
  • As a graduate in Environmental Studies, I am afraid of his claims that climate change is a hoax.
  • As a college teacher, it appalls me that he was fined $25 million because of his fraudulent university– and even more appalled that he still made millions on that deal.
  • As a wildlife biologist, I am scared that we will lose more of the species that share this planet with us.
  • And this just scrapes the surface of the turd that is stuck on our shoes until he is impeached, or he quits.

We know how devastating the past two years have been to what many of us hold dear. The government shut down is just the latest in a series of horrendous and shocking moments. We know that one day, hopefully soon, the investigation into Russia’s involvement in this election and this administration will bring it to an end.

There are many ways to raise your voice — but an important one is to join a march near you to demonstrate our power and unity, and, critically, to continue to build momentum to 2020 and beyond. When we return to the streets of Washington, D.C. and cities around the world, we arrive with an agenda on behalf of all women, families, and communities.

*RSVP now — say you’ll be joining the 3rd Women’s March on Saturday, January 19, 2019, in Washington, D.C. and in cities across the nation! Find a sister march near you and other materials and information to help prepare you for the march.

Organizers say that “When you click the link, you’ll be letting us know that “You’re all in!” as part of the #WomensWave. By RSVPing now, you will help us share with the media and leaders that women are still rising, persisting, and insisting on justice, so please fill out the form. The more of us who are “all in,” the bigger the impact we’ll have together.”

  • Need help arranging transportation or want to register your bus so others in your area can join you?
  • Can’t make it to Washington, D.C., but are interested in participating in a march event near you? You can find a full list of the local events happening (organized by state and city) at the main Women’s March website:
  • Want to show some MomsRising/MamásConPoder pride around the marches no matter where you are and whatever you’re doing? We have printable “Super M” buttons for you to wear while marching! #MomsMarching “Super M” Button INSTRUCTIONS: Just print the PDF downloaded from the following link, color the buttons, cut them out, and use a safety pin to put the buttons on for the #WomensMarch! –> Here’s the link to get your FREE buttons for the #WomensMarch:
  • Want to get involved virtually? Connect with MomsRising on Facebook and via @MomsRising and @WomensMarch on Twitter on January 19th to raise your voice and help amplify the mission of the Women’s March!
  • Keep Informed! We will continue to keep you posted as information comes our way! You can also find the latest information at the main Women’s March website, including transportation recommendations, suggested reading, and the mission of the march.

Join us as we continue to advocate and MARCH for justice for all! Justice for Women (and by women!) means justice for all!!  Let’s continue to MARCH until we see the changes we want to see in our community and our world We encourage EVERYONE to create ARTIVISM: social action through ARTISTIC mediums of ANY kind: posters, t-shirts, song, visual, dance, chant, music, or walking with a smile!!

Locally, meet at Ventura’s Plaza Park across from the downtown post office and beside Thompson Avenue and Chestnut near the Majestic Ventura Theater. Park in the garage at the beach off the California Street offramp ($5) or the closer parking garage on Santa Clara between Chestnut and California. Ventura County website offers ideas for artivism and more information.

*Don’t forget to RSVP that you’ll be there (in Washington, D.C., or any of the sister cities) — and to share the RSVP link or the link to this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and with friends and family too, so we can keep building a strong movement. Here’s that RSVP link again:

Here’s a short link to this blog post:

Also of possible interest to those in Ventura County:

Each January, the Ventura County Reproductive Rights Network (VCRRN) celebrates the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The current assault on healthcare threatens America’s women. What unfolds when stringent limits are placed on reproductive education and care?

On Sunday Jan. 20, 2019, join Cal Lutheran University professors Adina Nack and José Marichal with student Kleya Dhenin to explore:

  • What are the threats to access and affordability of reproductive care?
  • What happens to a society that severely restricts women’s healthcare and personal choices?
  • How can young people transform the political landscape?

For more information, call 805-212-0702 or email

You say it’s your birthday! Well it’s my birthday too yeah! Happy Birthday Matt Mullenweg! Happy Birthday Larry Harvey!

January 11, 2019

Today, January 11 is the birthday of two key figures in my life:

It just so happens that these two visionaries share my birthday too!

So cheers, a toast to these visionaries who have had such an important impact on my life, and a hoppy birthday to all who are born on this day! Read more…

Fire and Mud: Poetry Readings, Events Mark Anniversaries

January 9, 2019

Thirteen months ago, fire raged in Ventura County, and then the fire roared its way into Santa Barbara, setting the stage for destructive floods.

Today, Weds Jan. 9 is the one year anniversary of the debris flow in Montecito that took the lives of 23 people, destroyed hundreds of homes, and impacted countless businesses and workers.

As our community recovers, we grieve for our losses and we are grateful for what remains, and for the first responders who gave their all, and to those whose continuing efforts have helped those in need.

Just because the fire is out doesn’t mean it’s over. Read more…

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