Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Flowers: Hidden Flame

Red Hibiscus

Another lovely Summer weekend has arrived.

Let's celebrate the day with some verse by John Dryden, born on August 9 (in the Old Style dating), 1631.

"Hidden Flame"


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Who Will Riddle Me the How and the Why

Detail of a sphinx from an Eight-Light Candelabra (c.1785) possibly by Francois Remond

Here are a couple more images from my recent trip to the Huntington. ;-)

In general, I tend to focus on the fine art, sculpture, and architecture, but the decorative arts on display are exquisite, very rich in detail. These images have a mythological theme, in a pseudo-Egyptian style.

As for the title of this post, it's a quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, "The 'How' and the 'Why'". I figured that it would be a nice nod to celebrate his birth date, August 6, 1809.

Detail of a lamia(?)from an Eight-Light Candelabra (c.1785) possibly by Francois Remond

The sphinx and lamia are quite charming, but I find it a bit twisted, even for rococo sensibilities, to put mythical female sociopaths on the furniture. ;-)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Stairways, Multilevel

Stairways in the West Pavilion at the Getty Center

Yeah, I'm still admiring various staircases around town.

It's been a while since I shared an image of one with you. So, here's a photo of the interior stairs at the Getty Center's West Pavilion, which switches back and forth, elegantly curving along the contour of the wall for three levels, going from the Impressionist paintings at the top to the photography exhibits at the bottom, passing by the decorative arts in the middle. ;-)


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back at Ground Control

Display of the Rocketdyne Operations Support Center at California Science Center

Although I said a little while back that I would only be posting "Image of the Day" types of posts, the desire to share a bit more than a pretty picture occasionally gets the better of me. Since I have some time today, here are a few photos from my trip to the California Science Center to view the space shuttle, Endeavour.

It was an impressive exhibit. The various artifacts from the shuttle missions, diverse elements ranging from the "Space Potty" to the Space Shuttle Main Engines, presented a very engaging display of information. Merging the very human concerns of food and digestion with the highly technical elements of space flight, the exhibition was well grounded and very accessible.

The space shuttle Endeavour

But I was surprised by how wonderful it was to see the actual craft. It's a bit embarrassing to confess, but I got slightly choked up on seeing the Endeavour, feeling a bit of something similar to religious awe. Walking around and under, measuring by stride its length and width, viewing the tiles and surface texture, personally experiencing one of humankind's most remarkable constructs was shockingly vivid.

I'm curious to return again, perhaps sometime after the crowds of Summer. I wonder if this numinous sense of something "transcendent" will persist.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Flowers: Days of Wine and Roses

White dahlias

Vitae Summa Brevis

They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate;
I think they will have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:

Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream

White Dahlia

After highlighting roses throughout the summer, I couldn't do it again. Instead, our focus is on the "Angel of August", the white dahlia. Symbolic of elegance and dedication, it's an auspicious beauty to start off the month.

So, why the title of this post? We're celebrating the birth date of Ernest Dowson, featuring one of his most famous phrases. Anyways, it's closer to our premise than "gone with the wind". ;-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Don't Fear the Shadows

Mantel Clock (c.1780) by Joseph-Leonard Roque

Another visit to the Huntington means another bunch of art and garden photos for the next few days. ;-)

It'll be fun, a feast for the eyes.

And our birthday musician for the day is Robert Cray, blues guitarist extraordinaire, born on August 1, 1953.

"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" by Robert Cray


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunset with Helicopters

A beautiful view of the sun setting into the Pacific ocean, marred by a couple helicopters

I figured that we would wrap up the month with this odd photo. I don't know what those 'copters were up to or for what they were looking, but they certainly disrupted the idyllic mood of the lovely sunset. ;-)

Anyways, it has been an interesting month. Let's look forward to the treasures and thrilling adventures that August has in store.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Altered the Color of My Mind

Detail from a painting by Patricia Chidlaw, part of the Cityscape Show III at George Billis Gallery

Well, let's allow our mind to dissolve away into the madness of night, with dreams both dark and bright, images both forlorn and hopeful to drive us into another precious day.

And, let's celebrate the birth date of Emily Bronte, born on this date in 1818, with an appropriate song. ;-)

"Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush


Something Good Is Going to Happen

Detail of Chromasonic Field (Blue/Green) installation by Johannes Girardoni

Although there have been a few "downs" to counter my "ups", I'm feeling moderately good about the direction of my creative development. Certainly, there are still kinks to iron out and the constant grind of self-improvement, but things are looking positive.

Moreover, I've been doing things that I love, like visiting art galleries. The photo above is from my trip to Nye and Brown in Culver Gity. Hopefully, I'll have time to share some more art related photos with you. ;-)

But, for today, let's wrap this post up by celebrating Kate Bush's birthday.

"Cloudbursting" by Kate Bush


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Uneven Pavement

Uneven Pavement: Watch Your Step!!!

It's one of those days. ;-)


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ride the Wooden Horse

Jumping Carousel Horse (c.1890) by the Dentzel Carousel Company, with Hindu Processional Horse (late 19th century) behind, on display at the Mingei International Museum

And, as that image settles into your mind, let's celebrate Juliana Hatfield's birthday with a song. ;-)

"My Sister" by Juliana Hatfield


Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Flowers: Again, Some Summer Roses

Roses at Heritage Court, Redondo Beach

And, to celebrate Mick Jagger's 70th birthday, here's a video:

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Path to Greatness

If a sign reads "Great" then it must be, right?

Alternatively, it's just a sidewalk in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, dreaming of greatness. Maybe it just needs a little more cowbell. ;-)

"Grazing in the Grass" by Hugh Masekela


It's Quiet in Here

Empty desks at the El Segundo Public Library

Do you ever have that weird feeling of being alone in public places? Have you ever spoken aloud but no one seemed to hear? Are you troubled by a sense of alienation, as if the you're somewhat out of synch with the rest of the world?

Yeah, me neither. ;-)

"Creep" by Radiohead


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paved Paradise

Parking lot at the South Bay Galleria

It has been a long time since I last shared an "urban blight" image with you. What type of structure is as great an eyesore as a parking lot? ;-)

"Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell


Under the Dangling Orbs

Pavilion at the entry to the California Science Center

I don't know what the golden balls signify, but they sure are pretty. ;-)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Far Out!!!!!

Griffith Observatory, viewed from the "Orbit of Pluto"

Yeah, it's been a while.

I'm again vacillating on what I intend to accomplish with my blogging. Because such naval-gazing grows tedious, I'll spare you the details. However, Paideia will probably go "photoblog" for the next month or so. There will be daily updates of image posts, occasionally with a bit of prose and exposition.

Come mid-August, there might be a change of program. We'll see how it goes. ;-)

For now. . .


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Looking at Patterns in the Sky

Beautiful cumulus clouds floating in a deep blue sky

There are some positive aspects to the marine layer that has been blanketing the South Bay cities for a few months now. Usually, the sky is leaden grey, with a diffuse pale light illuminating the land. However, when the clouds break up, the brilliant blue sky contrasts with the remaining puffs of cloud to form lovely skyscapes.

It leads to hours of cloud-gazing fun!!! ;-)


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Craving the Sweets

Delicious cupcakes!!!

I haven't very much to say right now.

It's a muggy, heavy day that is grinding down my energy and enthusiasm. Although I have a dull headache, the main thought dominating my mind is an intense desire for sugar, chocolate, and milk.

And, if I don't get some sweets mighty soon, there's going to be trouble!!! ;-)

Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal (2012)

Well, here's a video that doesn't quite capture my mood, but it has an appropriate title.

"Sweet Tooth" by Marilyn Manson


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reddy Kilowatt Says. . .

It's Reddy Kilowatt flying a kite!!!

Sometimes one comes across a couple random sights that synch up perfectly for a blog post. It's a rare situation, but, when it happens, sharing is so much fun.

So when I came across this reproduction of a vintage "Reddy Kilowatt" ad, I was filled with enthusiasm. Just a few days previously, I had spotted a warning sign at some electric powerlines. Although I took a photo, it seemed to be the type of image that would go unused. The image didn't have enough narrative or aesthetic voltage to justify even an "Image of the Day" type of post.

And then Reddy and his kite saved the day!!! ;-)

Danger! Danger! High Voltage!!!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wandering Mind

A path through the South Coast Botanic Garden

Nothing much to share with you all tonight, just meandering thoughts and mellow contemplation. However, a peaceful garden photo is always a nice treat. ;-)


Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Nights

Westwood Village, looking north on Broxton Ave. towards the old Fox Theater.


Make It Magnificent

Enlightenment (2005) by Dale Chihuly, at the Mingei International Museum, San Diego

A new month is upon us and that means we can try anew to make this a better blog. ;-)

As long time readers may recall, I have a weird fascination with stairways. So, I was looking through my vast collection of staircases and I came across this one from the Mingei. Well, the stairs aren't the focus, but the Chihuly glass sculpture is certainly well worth a viewing.

And, while we're on the topic of glass, I'd like to celebrate the birthday of Debbie Harry, born on this date in 1945.

Debbie Harry, from Blondie's video for "Heart of Glass"

So, let's listen to some music.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hot Days in LA

Hollywood sign, viewed from the Griffith Observatory

Wow!!! It is almost unbearable out here in the Southland. Even the beaches are scorching hot!!! And you can't get anywhere because there are constant collisions on the freeways, due to people getting overly aggressive in the heat.

It is miserable.

Yeah, I understand that there are places in the world that are hotter. The people who have to live in such hellholes certainly have my sympathy. However, in the US, the "Sun Belt" cities are built with the expectation of infernal Summer heat; Los Angeles is not. Therefore, when the temperatures climb towards the triple digits with high humidity, the infrastructure is not there to help us adapt to it.

It is miserable.

"Los Angeles Is Burning" by Bad Religion


Friday, June 28, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Moment of Contemplation

Chapel to the Virgin Mary at Mission San Luis Rey

One of my goal for this year is to visit a bunch of the California missions. I last made a go at visiting them all when I was a child, learning my local history. Being at mid-life, it seems appropriate to travel the Camino Real again, revisiting these old churches and getting back in touch with my Californian roots.

So, I traveled down to Oceanside to visit the King of the Mission, San Luis Rey de Francia. Founded in 1798, this mission is a lovely site, with rich religious imagery, historical antiquities, and beautiful gardens.

And it makes for nice photos. ;-)

"Convidando está la noche" by Juan García de Zéspedes


Sunday, June 23, 2013


An artist's visualization of Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) at the Museum of Man

A few month back, I was able to see the actual fossils of Lucy on display at the Bowers Museum, the highlight of their "Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia". Unfortunately, the show did not allow photography. Although I really would have enjoyed sharing the experience with you all, I would have felt better doing so with some cool photos to help me out.

Well, this photo comes from my recent trip down to San Diego. The model is part of the Museum of Man's exhibit of human evolution, a fun interactive display.

Nevertheless, I can't help but ask, if Lucy is the "Mother of All Humankind", then does that make all of us fair game for a "Yo Mama So Ugly" joke? ;-)

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the Beatles


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cyclopean Design

Myrtle Cyclops (200) by Terry Martin

I recently visited the Long Beach Museum of Art. There were plenty of delightful and inspiring works on display, which I hope to share with you over the next week or so. However, today I want to share this piece by Australian woodworker, Terry Martin, part of the LBMA's "Tree" exhibition.

I love the color and texture. The shape is a bit creepy, otherworldly, as if touched by sorcery. Well, the artistry and craft behind the working of such a piece is indeed a type of magic. ;-)

Here's a vid of Terry Martin turning a piece of wood.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Flowers: Old Port

Rose: Old Port

Summer is now upon us, long days and warm weather. It's time for travel and strolling the gardens, enjoying the great outdoors.

It's time for fun!!! ;-)

"Summer Dreams" by Mirami feat. LayZee


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hey Kids!!! What Time Is It?!!

Howdy Doody marionette in an antique store

I'm back from my "vacation" and ready for fun and games. ;-)

So, boys and girls, what time is it?


Thursday, June 6, 2013

The King of Pez Heads

Elvis Presley Pez candies

But do the candies come in a fried peanut butter and nanner flavor? ;-)


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

At Hollywood and Highland

Northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland

Hollywood isn't my normal stomping grounds.

Being from the beach cities of the South Bay, I find the trip up to Hollywood to be a frustrating navigational exercise, ending with the ever annoying search for affordable parking. Moreover, the presence of tourists and those who thrive off of tourists is a definite turn off for me.

However, I was in the neighborhood. So, I took a few photos. ;-)

Ripley's Believe It or Not museum on the southeast corner of Hollywood and Highland


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beneath the Jacaranda

Looking up at the grey "June Gloom" sky from beneath the limbs of a Jacaranda tree


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fountains and Gazebos

Rose Garden at the South Coast Botanic Garden

Since the weather has gotten more amiable, I intend to go visiting the local gardens again, returning to a good stream of Flower blogging. In addition to creating content for Paideia, this will have the beneficial effect of getting me off of my posterior and from in front of the computer. ;-)

So, it is one-part creative enterprise and one-part exercise regimen. Given the beauty of the botanic gardens in Los Angeles, this is going to be a treat.

I hope you will enjoy the photos.

Gazebo on the green