Kiwis doing it right!

Man I guess I am late in discovering New Zealand’s Glass Vaults as they have been circulating around the web since summer of last year and I cannot say enough about them. I l-l-luv them! If you are a fan of Sigur Rós, M83, and Animal Collective, then give this duo a listen. His voice reminds me of Thom Yorke and the guy from Clinic. The music is full of depth with beautiful ethereal ambient sounds layered with synthesizers and tribal drums.

After listening to Glass Vaults I feel like I just visited the lush green pastures of New Zealand. No joke, especially since I’ve been blasting their music late at night painting. It’s very easy to get lost in it all. This is music to listen to in the dark and volume turned up waaaaay high. Enjoy.

Go visit their bandcamp page where you can stream their Glass EP and download it.

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Yeasayer//Live At Ancienne Belgique

Phew, I am feeling MUCH better today. I may even dare to step back into the gym later this afternoon…

I know for sure I will be blasting some Yeasayer on my iPod. Their music always makes me happy and makes me want to dance. Odd Blood was one of my fave albums from 2010 and offers many infectious tunes. They are now offering a live album titled, Live at Ancienne Belgique. It’s taken from their October 28th 2010 performance at the Ancienne Belgique venue in Brussels.

They are taking a cue from Radiohead and are offering the “name your price” thing. Go to their site here and download it for free or support the band.

Barcelona Street Art Part.1

Bleh, my cold came back and now I have a stuffy head and a runny nose. At least now I have some time to go through some of the street art pics I took in Barcelona.

I recognize some as “Miss Van”, “El Pez”, “Kid Acne”, and a covered “Dolk” but some are unfamiliar. If you know who they are please let me know!

Palermo, Sicily

Our time in Sicily was very short and it seemed as though most of the time was spent inside the tour bus as it zipped around the city. It was so short that I only found one small stenciled street art.

We visited Palermo’s Capuchin Crypt and boy was that eerie. Cameras were not allowed in the catacombs and frankly I don’t think I wanted pictures of the dead anyway. Dead bodies of all sorts were lined up against the walls and in glass coffins. Men, women, children, priests, monks, and virgins were divided into categorized halls where some stare down at you as you walk by while some are in posed positions. The bodies are all in different levels of decay where you can still see the skin and hair on them.

Afterwards we were driven more around the city and then stopped at small museum to look at some art. We got back to our ship around late afternoon where my family and I got ready for a yummy dinner. I must say I ate some of the best seafood during this trip than I have ever before. I do go “carnivorous” once in a blue moon and order my steaks nice and rare but I prefer a pescatarian diet.

as we drove by this building I looked up and saw these life-size figurines of turkeys and storks.

the men in Sicily are very friendly. These runners followed our bus for several blocks, waving and smiling as they did their morning jog.

can't say no to gelato!

I set off the alarm to this painting because I was trying to retrieve a water bottle my sister had dropped behind the ropes. I ran away as fast as I could when the alarm went off.

the only street art I was able to find.

escargots. lobster ravioli. delicious trio of desserts (shared of course).

 

Hola 2011!

I’mmmmm back!! I had such a blast visiting Sicily, Greece, Egypt, Malta, and Spain that being back in rainy and cold L.A. seems sooooo sad. I’m still jet-lagging, got over a sniffle I caught from the horrendous long flight back, and my father just gave me a 3 day deadline to paint a portrait of his late brother. Yes, back to reality and working. Can I please rewind to two weeks ago?

I’m happy to report my cruise with the family to the Mediterranean went quite smoothly. We didn’t want to kill one another and we didn’t die in a terrible storm like I fear may happen. I am no longer a cruise virgin and do I dare say I might even contemplate on cruising again…but perhaps next time with friends.

The ship we sailed in was The Brilliance of the Seas and despite what it went through 2½ weeks ago, all was fine inside. I did see some of the damage like broken windows and panes but it was all fixed up during our voyage. If you’ve never cruised before think of it as a hotel floating at sea. The Brilliance had 13 decks, a fitness center, a day spa (which my mother treated me to), movie theater, casino, shops, restaurants, etc. Needless to say it kept us busy when we were not at port but sailing. There were also fun activities to do besides stuffing your face with the endless amounts of food. That’s one thing I noticed and that is people ate ALL THE TIME. Thankfully there were only 5 days when we were out at sea and the other days consisted of our excursions. I wished we stayed at some ports longer and I guess that’s one of my complains about the trip, I always felt rushed. We were always on a schedule and the places I really really enjoyed felt way too short.

My favorite places I visited were Rhodes (Greece), Malta, and Barcelona. Rhodes and Malta was absolutely gorgeous and sailing into the port of Malta was surreal. It’s probably one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. I was fortunate to stay in Barcelona after our cruise ended and was there for an additional 3 days. I luv luv luv Barcelona and can totally imagine living there. The people are friendly, the food is yummy, and the city is beautiful. I didn’t want to leave and I keep imaging myself back in the city.

I saw many interesting things on this trip and to see what I studied in history books before my eyes was ah-mazing. I shot a little over 1500 photos and between my family and I, we probably have close to 4000 photos to go over.

Here’s just a snippet of what I experienced on my trip, many more pics to come:

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, here’s to a better year filled with happiness and joy!!