Friday, October 27, 2006

#77 Amargosa (2000)


Okay, anybody with a spec of creativity in his or her bones needs to see this film. I went to the Amargosa Opera House and saw Marta Becket’s one-woman show last weekend. When I got home I found this documentary on Netflix.

It is very well done. Tells the story of this amazing woman’s determination to continue with her artistic life of dance, music, and painting. She just made it happen for herself.

It also captures the remoteness of Death Valley Junction and the surrounding areas. I think I am going to need to buy this and share it with my friends.

Sadly, in the five years since this doc was made, Marta has lost her companion and performing partner “Wilget,” and sustained a back injury by falling from a chair while rehanging a curtain. I think we missed the most vibrant of her performances, but even now at 82 and sitting in a chair she’s a pretty moving person.

If you live within 300 miles (LA/San Francisco), you really should get yourself out there and see her.

The documentary’s website

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm a Little Teapot - Thursday 10/26/2006

I have a lot of work to do today, most of it involving reading.

So I took myself over to Bob's Big Boy for breakfast. Nothing like these light-industrial diner teapots. Read three scripts in the time it would have taken me to do one in my office.

Because, see, over there I'm not distracted by e-mail, random Internet searches for the names of actors I saw on TiVo last night...or blogs.

I think I may see a lot of this place in the wee hours of the morning next month as I pursue a big NaNoWriMo win.

On the walk back, this saucy little rose winked at me. You come to expect this kind of behavior from the flowers that grace the sidewalk in front of the Falcon Theater.

Baby Kiwis! - Wednesday 10/25/2006

Go ahead and laugh, Noel!

Produce continues to fascinate me. Especially tiny new forms of old familiars. These are sweet and tart and really delish.

Found 'em at Trader Joe's.

Old Green Truck - Tuesday 10/24/2006

Another of my efforts to take photos of all the cool old stuff along Sierra Highway.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You Can't Give This Stuff Away Around Here - Monday 10/24/2006


One-L and I picked up lunch. It came with very good bread and butter. Apparently, each of us went around the office asking if anyone wanted the butter.

No takers.

But some laughers.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Homeward Bound - Sunday 10/22/2006

Mom walking to get a good shot, near the Furnace Creek Inn.

Thank goodness this instruction was posted inside the bathroom door at the gas station in Furnace Creek, or I might still be there!

A view of Death Valley from the grace of the oasis at Furnace Creek.

We took Wildrose Road on our way out of Death Valley. We were forwarned to watch for wash-outs. It was narrow and slow going because the road was washed away in some places, but hard-packed and dry yesterday.

We discovered the foundations of buildings and stone steps like these leading to them. Also a cave up these steps and around to the right. There was water there apparently, and from poking around on the Internet, I surmise that this is Wildrose Spring.

It was cool and pleasant there.

Yes, I admit it. We stopped at Randsburg on the way back for another Cherry Bomb (cherry ice cream soda) and to try the hamburgers. Yum. There were a lot of off-roaders stopping in for food and wet stuff.

We got home around 3:30 in the afternoon. I feel like we were gone for about a week. So many wonderful images to carry in my head for the rest of my life. And a great time with my mom, who is so much fun to travel with. We decided whether to do various things that presented themselves and I know that neither of us had to worry that the other would miss something she really wanted to do because of the other.

And all this, including tickets, hotel room and gas, for way under those "cheap" Los Angeles Times Travel Section getaways. About $230 for both of us!

En Route to the Amargosa Opera House - Saturday 10/21/2006

It’s really hard to pick a photo, or even two or three, for today.

My mother and I drove to Death Valley Junction to see Marta Becket perform at the Amargosa Opera House and made many, many stops along the way.

One of the best was Randsburg, which is half ghost town, half inhabited. Had a great cherry ice cream soda at the 100 year old soda fountain inside the General Store.

This is part of the old mine works.

Wandered around the graveyard, which is typically Western, with headstones and gravesites sometimes fenced in or adorned with rocks, etc.

Petroglyph-based sculpture outside the Maturango Museum

There was a powwow in the park next to the museum. This was one of the dancers. Mom and I had Native American Fried Bread for the first time, with chile verde. Shared a park table with a guy and his son who had driven down from around Lone Pine for the event.

The Dunes in Death Valley. View from the road. Wow!

This is the part where Hydra starts to groan. Apparently, I will go barefoot anywhere.

About as low as we went. We turned before we got to Badwater and cut across toward Death Valley Junction.

Detail from the ceiling of the Amargosa Opera House, which Marta Becket painted over the course of about six years. Her paintings are really worth the visit, I think.

Marta injured her back when she fell off a chair while trying to hang a curtain, so she did "the sitting show" rather than "the dancing show." She told stories, sang songs, and after the question and answer period she signed autographs.

The thing you need to notice about this photograph is the way this at least 80-year-old woman is sitting!

She bent forward to sign autographs on the floor beside her!

The Cream Thief - Friday 10/20/2006

It all looks very innocent at the start. Just posing here with the creamer. Don't I look loverly in contrast? Don't mind me.

But Dodger likes cream. African Greys need lots of calcium or they can have convulsions, so we give him ice cream and/or milk every day, sometimes cheese. He loves it.

I worked from home, so had a pot of tea on the table with half and half and sugar at hand. He scampered across and got into it.