Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wisdom Wednesdays: Featuring Dr Sidney Wang

ASK DR WANG "the psychic betta fish"

Dr Wang would like to wish everyone a

very Happy Halloween!

This week's letter is from Trudy in Lubbock, TX. Trudy writes...

Dear Dr Wang,

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. You see, my divorce was finalized yesterday and I am finally rid of that lump-of-lard- ex-husband of mine. "Ted" was the kind of man who would steal money from my purse and go drinking at the local tavern all night and come home smelling of booze, and have a few bruises from being in a fight, yes a real winner. Now that I have my freedom, I'd like to get my life back in order. I'm going down to the WalMart and get me a new dress, new pair of shoes, some fancy new perfume and a fresh manicure. The question is, will I meet a new man anytime soon or am I doomed to be alone?

Thank you kindly, Trudy

Dr Wang responds: Dear Trudy,

Congratulations on your recent divorce, it sounds like Ted was a drain in your life. I'm glad to hear you are treating yourself to a few luxuries, you deserve it. My first reaction is that you should probably take a little time for yourself before getting involved with another man in your life, but that is your decision, only you know where you are emotionally. To answer your question, I swam past The Great Bubble Wall for insight to your future. Indeed, you are about to meet someone new in your life very soon, although it is not where you expect to meet someone however. Those new shoes you just bought at Walmart will cause you some trouble. One of the heels is going to break while you are walking, causing you to twist your ankle. While at the doctor's office getting your sprained ankle looked at, you will meet a man in the waiting room with the initials JD, who will sweep you off your feet, so to speak.

JD has a curious profession, he raises fruit-flies and sells them. Your first date will likely include a visit to his fruit-fly farm. You should resist any of his advances for romance at the fruit-fly farm. Take the relationship slowly and get to know JD. There is something he will be hiding from you, but I am not certain what it is. Enjoy!

Keep swimming upstream,

-Dr Wang

"Wisdom Wednesdays" features the sage advice of our resident oracle, psychic betta fish "Dr Sidney Wang". Believed to be a reincarnated descendant of King Rama II of Siam, Dr Wang responds to e-mail submissions with advice, predictions of the future and conveys ancient proverbs to provide guidance and support. Dr Sidney Wang's 24 Hour Wisdom, Advice and Inspiration service is also available from the left side navigation for this feature

Halloween Special Feature: My Favorite Witches

Happy Halloween! I thought I'd honor today by posting photos of my favorite Witches. Before I offend any Wiccan readers, I wish to state that these are of course, representations of Witches created by Hollywood and in fairy tales. I've actually met a few real Witches, many many years ago when I lived near Salem, Massachusetts, and also in NYC some time ago. If you are interested, here are two real, living modern day Witches: Laurie Cabot, the Official Witch of Salem, and also Lexa Rosean, The Witch Doctor.

Above: Real Witch Laurie Cabot, The Official Witch of Salem, Massachusetts

Above: The Wicked Witch of The West...oh how she scared me ever so!

Above: Everybody's Favorite Witch, Samantha Stevens, from Bewitched!

Above: Professor McGonnegall from the Harry Potter series

Above: Glinda, the Good Witch

Above: Endora, the mischievous mother-in-law!

Above: Blast from the 80's, The Witches of Eastwick was a cool flick, with Cher, Michelle Pfiffer and Susan Saran Wrap.

Above: From the movie Hocus Pocus, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy were a lot of fun, even if it was a kiddie movie.
Did I leave out any of your favorite Witches? Leave a comment!

-Rick Rockhill

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Palm Springs Monster Mash, Part Two

Today is the second post of photos from my "Palm Springs Monster Mash" Halloween Party this past Saturday. As I mentioned yesterday, I had to take these photos during the day because my camera does not take good photos at night. So none of these look quite as scary as they did at night with the spooky red lights we had all over the place. We went all- out with decorations, some of which we made, and others we bought. This Zombie head on a spear (photo at left) was motion-activated and would shriek a variety of crazy sayings to unsuspecting guests.

Above: We made this flying ghost, which was hanging over the bar on the back patio. (Even our bartender was spooked by this ghost). Above right: various props from around the house, skulls, jars full of blood & eyeballs, and big black hairy spiders.

Above: Hanging Bats and caged Zombies hung overhead by the pool.

Above: Scary Zombie heads hung from the rafters, while strings of huge hairy black spiders slithered down strings, hitting guests in the face while making their way outside by the pool patio.

Above left: Skeleton silhouettes hung inside these glass French doors on the east end of the patio & above right: The outdoor fireplace was a favorite spot for our guests to hang out and admire the spooky atmosphere.

Above: Meet Esmerelda, our Gypsy Fortune Teller, whose head was inside a glass globe located in the Library waiting for guests to stop by for her words of advice. Her head moved and her eyes lit up as she dispensed her cryptic messages.

Above: I bought these signs, which were fun: Griselda's Nail Salon, which reads: "Today's Special: Bunion polishing and broomstick wax. Free Cellulite stretching with every mole massage", and 'Witch Beatrice's Bone Meal Bakery, Try Our Famous Earwax and Booger Cakes, and for the kids: Soiled Spider Swirls".

I did nearly all of the cooking and baking for the party, with a large buffet spread which included: Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce, Beef Tenderloin, Pasta with Vodka Sauce with Crimini Mushrooms & Turkey, Scallops with Champagne sauce, Veal & Pork Meatballs, Five varieties of sauteed Chicken Herb Sausages, Two varieties of Quiches, and over 10 different hors d'Ĺ“uvres , which were passed on trays throughout the evening by our servers. One of my favorites were bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almonds. Since they were grown locally, the dates were a big hit with the guests.

The dessert table included homemade brownies, bat-shaped sugar cookies with green frosting, dark chocolate bunt cakes with Ledson Chocolate Merlot Wine Sauce, and of course an endless supply of Fannie May chocolates!
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Palm Springs Monster Mash Party, Part One

This past Saturday evening was our annual Halloween Party. This is a fairly big event for us, one which requires months of advance planning. For example, in past years, guests receive several "teaser" mailings late summer with hints of the theme. One year we mailed each guest a box of props, with a mysterious poem with clues to the theme. Another year we actually wrote and printed several "magazines" with bogus articles, photos and fake advertisements, all to support that year's Halloween party theme. This year's theme was "The Palm Springs Monster Mash". The image (above left) was used for our "save the date" mailing. We wanted to create a "sense of arrival" and excitement for our guests before they actually entered the house, so we transformed the front gate, courtyard, grounds and inside of the house into a scary crypt. It's difficult to capture the look and feel, because my camera doesn't take good photos at night, so most of these photos were taken in daylight.

Above: These skulls were lined up along the wall in front of the courtyard and glowed dimly at night, providing a scary approach to the front driveway.
Above left: A Zombie stands behind a scary post with directional hanging signs that read: "Go Back", "Last Chance", and "Crypt", which pointed to the courtyard & Above right: The faux stone archway into the courtyard, with a skull at the top of the arch. This set the tone for what way beyond the gates...

Above: The graveyard, just beyond the front gate was filled with scary old tombstones.
These next photos just don't translate in broad daylight, but here goes...
Once guests passed the graveyard, they had to make their way into the crypt, which was a specially built "room" before the front doors to the house. Once inside the crypt, it was completely dark, with strobe lights flashing, thunderbolts, and an eery glow of red lights.

Above left: This stone bench had various faux human bones scattered on it, with a 6' tall candelabra, with several scary candles burning, dripping red blood. Above right: This Zombie was in another corner, with his sickle in hand, as strobe lights flashed in the darkness, giving guests just enough of view to be frightened.
Above: These photos really don't look great in the bright flash, but in the dark, it was pretty scary. Lots of things hanging down that guests had to pass through to enter the house. The only light was from a red light bulb, and the flashing strobe, to provide a sense of lightening.
Above: These two panels we positioned on either side of the front doors, which guests had to pass through. They were 12 feet tall, with faux human bones set in what looked like blood and guts dripping down the walls. It was truly a scary, gory sight. (We made these, along with all of the decorations)

Above left: The front foyer had lots of cobwebs, spiders and skulls greeting guests. Above right: what would a Halloween party be without trick or treat gift bags?
Above: The Great Room provided guests safe passage to the party area. We decorated with less scary things, just lots of cobwebs, spiders, bats, skulls, and pumkins. The ceiling was covered with black balloons, as well as bunches of balloons on all of the "bellybar" tables to provide a festive atmosphere.

Above: Outside by the back pool was this scary Skull Water Fountain, which we built ourselves. It stood over 6 feet high, and rested in the pool. Water cascaded down from the top Skull, and from the six smaller Skulls below. The water flowed out of the mouths of the Skulls and back down into the pool.

Above: Finally, some photos I took at night that actually show the full effect! We used red lights in the pool and hot tub to create an effect that the pool was filled with blood. The other landscape lights were also red, giving the entire back property an eery glow. Just beyond the hot tub we had one of several TVs with a continuos feed of videos we made with clips from horror films.
Stop back again tomorrow for Part 2, when I share more photos of the super scary decorations, props and lots more!
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Art Review: Cheeta The Chimp

Sorry for the lateness of this post, I was recovering from our annual Halloween party on Saturday night (hence the missing Saturday Seven post this week). But I'm back in the saddle and ready to resume my blog postings. In this week's Sunday Art Review, I'm covering the work of Palm Springs resident and retired actor Cheeta, the Chimpanzee. Cheeta is the world's oldest living chimpanzee and is the original actor from the Tarzan films. Cheeta is practically my neighbor, just two blocks away. Like many retired actors in Palm Springs, Cheeta lives a life of relaxation, and actively paints. This is one amazing chimpanzee who has made a name for himself in Palm Springs and around the world. He celebrated his 75th birthday in style in the desert, and his works were on display in a local art gallery. I "borrowed" these photos from his website and on the web. I hope you enjoy these abstract works. Note: I did not personally take any of these photos- they are either from his website or from galleries that posted his work.

And here is the artist, at home here in Palm Springs...
Above left: Cheeta the Artist, at work & above right: Cheeta goes for a ride in his golf cart.

Above: Cheeta likes to paint outdoors
Above: Cheeta puts his heart into his work

I hope you enjoyed this collection of Cheeta's art. You can actually commission Cheeta to create a piece of art...I am about to do so myself. I'll be sure to feature it on a future Sunday Art Review.
-Rick Rockhill


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

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