Friday, October 29, 2004


hey, we just realized how to change the settings so that anyone can comment, not just registered bloggers, so come on! let us know who we're talking to out there!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

usha uthup

Last night we went to Jazz by the Bay and saw Usha Uthup sing. We'd been there once before and I'd been pretty bored - bad cover songs by so-so bands, the usual expensive cocktails and social banter you can't quite hear over the music. There's really only so long I can pull off the smile-and-nod routine before I get squirmy and peevish. Last night was different. We were there with all 3 of Ramesh Sippy's grown kids (one is our housemate Rohan) - for those who don't know, he's pretty much the greatest and best loved Hindi film director in th history of Bollywood - and the lady singing had sung for one of his movies a few decades ago. You'd pass her on the street in India and probably not notice too much other than that her sari and jewelry is nicer than most - she's older, plump, with glasses underlining her large bindi. Her smile is a bit devilish for someone who otherwise might be described as matronly. Her voice, though....WHAM! She's got the belt it out, full, throaty voice of a James Bond intro. I don't know if it'll come across online as well as it did in that little room but you should give it a try at her website (our connection is too slow for me to test it) - She bantered between songs about when she only got to sing bad girls parts and background music because her voice is far from the indian high pitched good girl ideal and asked the Sippy kids to thank their father for her break in his film. She won over the crowd with her suprisingly naughty grin and huge voice - well, most of the crowd knew her and loved her already, so really she won over us. Pretty cool.

guccigucci bird

guccigucci, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

ok, repost of last bird i made - onyx chip head and formica sample feathers, copper wire body.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

ye olde english

english peeps on train, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

I couldn't help myself. I tried. I tried for quite some time, but the train ride from Michelle's place in Egham to London was just too long and I didn't have anything to read and I was bored and I kept looking at this old gent's scowling mug and finally I just had to do it. I took his picture. It's a tribute. It takes a lifetime to get the corners of your mouth to turn down just so. . .so . . .so English I guess. The lady next to him wasn't too bad either. They weren't together. I enjoyed my little stay in old blighty. I enjoyed all the peculiar old characters we'd find telling stories of being chased by squirrels in the park or just meandering about wearing funny hats with flowers. I think England has a higher density of these characters than many places. . .except maybe the passengers of our plane ride home.

There were a lot of old Indian folks on our 747. There was a whole posse of really old guys wearing wooly hats pulled down real low with just the front rolled up a little so their eyes could peer out. One of them had the grumpiest look I had ever seen. He made this guy look like the homecoming queen in the homecoming day parade. The other ones had the uncomprehending, slightly blissed out looks that only really old people can have and wandered about the cabin at random.

Nobody can trash a plane like a group of Indians.

bible thumpin bidness

christian bidness, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

It ain't my bidness, but it is a bidness. It's been a while since I've stayed in a hotel with all the accoutrements so I'd kind of forgotten about bibles in night stand drawers sitting amongst the years of pocket lint and pencil shavings. This is my little tribute to that aging liaison.

(hint: the mask on the left has a big cross on the back)

laurel and cloaca

laurel and cloaca, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

anyone who knows what a monotreme is should find the background marquee amusing.(i'm thinking of a kids show called magen the monotreme) but this pic is also for heidi to see her handmade scarf in london. world traveling handicrafts.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

southbank view

view, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

names of pubs:
queens head and artichoke
unicorn house
drunken monkey
the elusive camel
dragon and cabbage
names of train stations:



dali, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

a dali elephant outside the saatchi collection in london. very interesting art. damien hurst's 17 foot tiger shark slowly dissolving in murky formaldahyde was suprisingly scary in a primal way.

gherkin and church

gherkin, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

London is soooo pretty - the new and old architecture blends pretty well and both are often beautiful. It's very integrated - everyone seems to have a different background and accent. Unfortunately it's also pretty damn expensive, especially with current exchange rates - we spent, even being frugal, more in a day there than in weeks or even a month in India. It was a much needed break, though.

guccigucci bird

guccigucci, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

here's my latest bird sculpture - he/she's carved out of a onyx tile chip and formica samples, put together with copper wire. i had to write an artists statement.... very, very hard. there was some interest but i didn't sell anything in london, which was kinda discouraging. nobody at the show really did, though, so at least i don't have to take it too personally, and now i have stuff to show in open studios next year back home.

my pretty still life at Michelles house

pretty still life, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

BIG thanks to Michelle and Dan for their amazing hospitality during our stay in London. We got to enjoy spending time with so many great people. Michelle, Dan, the other artists and curators, Magen, Andy Hooper, Gareth and Darren and Mark Hooper..... England rocks. I love it. Even if they don't buy enough art.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

good god, it's catching

redhead, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

ear hair that is. Maybe it's the pollution or something, but I've noticed my ear hair is growing too. Not to the prodigous lengths of some here, and not with the same lusterous girth, but still. . .

You can't see it in this photo, or maybe even in real life, but if you remember this post the next time you see me, you probably will look for it surreptitiously.

This is another Ganpati photo. There was a small ceremony with three small Ganesh statues going on and the head of the family invited us to join. We were singing and clapping and then a guy with a big bag of pigment came up to me with a smile and clobbered me. When I opened my eyes a second later, Laurel and Valerie and Maude were well down the beach, standing there with their hands in their pockets. Soon after, the ceremony stopped and they offered me some fruit, a banana to be exact. They kept trying to lure the women back, but they were standing on the beach yelling at them, " come back. banana. you want banana."

funny. it didn't work.

By the end of the day, what with the monsoon and dancing behind the trance truck, my whole face and chest and butt crack were dyed orange.

hi mom!


picture request - guy who likes me best?

guy who likes me best, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

Picture request from Primco: the guy who likes me best? Well, Andy likes me best (next to the inflatable moose head we brought from SF as a housewarming present) and Raja, our housemate Rohan's man Friday, likes Andy best. Oops, I mean Andy-Sa'ib. Here's Raja in his new disco shirt - we're friendlier than most of the people he's had to wait on so he shows us all his new clothes and family photos and shares his cell phone excitement with us. The man is a ring tone junkie - cell phones are the game boys of the serving class here. It's a status symbol and toy more than tool - he spends a lot of time every day playing little games on it and going through the ring tones one after another. After another after another after... Technology amazes him. He's from Bihar, which is one of the most poor, violent and dangerous areas in India. They call beheading 'shortening' there. Raja, though, is all smiles and playfulness. I only worry that he doesn't get out enough, basically locked in the marble palace we call home with only the Irish setter and us for company. He likes to watch us work, probably out of boredom as much as comprehending what we're doing on the computers (see picture of our living room), which was a little weird at first. Andy is his hero because he's a sahib who is nice to him and takes his picture to print out on the printer.
Like most non-socialites here, he always makes a serious face for photos even though he's usually laughing and smiling. Sometimes he'll look very serious and do a gangster style pose for the camera.

picture request - party tent night and day...

room, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

Picture requests from M - the room we like best in our house - we painted a wall light blue with asian style clouds and put up this cloth tent for a party when we first got here. Otherwise its just dirty white marble and walls. better than the blue tarp and advertising banner built shacks outside but not too interesting. we're working on it....Rohan dug out his art collection and we hung a bunch of cool paintings a little while ago.

picture request - view

view, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

Picture request from M - view from our window (if only you could get the full hot wet stinky impact of the air, too - it's an omnipresent force all it's own). Note bamboo scaffolding on building on left, 9 stories up or so. It's always perch to pigeons and the local gray headed crows, but sometimes also long tailed bright green parrots/parakeets and a few big pariah kites.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


dylan, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

this is dylan. he's the irish setter pup we live with. since the photo was taken he's developed a large lump on his forehead which, in addition to his perpetual look of serene imcomprehension, gives him much the air of a manatee. first the vet said it would go away, now that its hardened to bone he says that the rest of his head will grow into it. we told rohan to find a new vet. apparently it's from banging his head on the bottom of the table too much. irish setters may be known more for beauty than brains.
i miss my dog.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Goofy and Sweaty in Mumbai

us2, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


We’ve made a few friends here by now, among them Nikhil and Supurna (I’m sure I’m spelling their names wrong…). He’s a director and she started an organization that helps provide counseling to kids in government custody – good people, and capable of holding conversations with a sense of humor even at the most actor and model filled camera flashing events. Nice dog, too. They had a party recently where I talked for awhile with a writer I’d met a few times before. He told me a story about a friend of his that was so good I had to ask permission to share it. Here goes:
It seems that his friend has an eye for business ventures. This was just after the tamagotchi craze had started and people all over the world were buying the little things up for good money. Taiwan started making them cheaper, and he decided to get in on the action and brought a few thousand over to sell in India. He was a little uncertain about the quality of the Taiwanese knock-offs, and wanting to sell a good product, so he went through and turned them all on to test them. Very honorable… only, as anyone familiar with tamagotchi knows, once they are turned on they are ‘alive’ and need to be fed and cared for like real pets. Especially for the first part of their lives. They even get mean if you don't play with them. His family and friends and extended network of family and friends spent the next week frantically trying to feed and bathe and care for these thousands of needy plastic baby beings – the dashboard of his car was covered with hundreds all needing food or water or attention or cleaning. Everywhere, crying tamagotchi that he couldn’t sell in time - even if he could spare the time from caring for them. It was a massacre of desperate, unintentional neglect. They all died.
I’m not sure what the moral of the story is but DAMN that cracked me up.

all request sunday

"Ask your readers to think of three photos they'd like to see posted to your blog. (Things around your house or whatever.) When you have enough requests, post them! "
This is a direct order from the leaders above - maybe it's also a way to help we who blog get a sense of who's reading this stuff.