Post sick day

The kids have been sick for For-ev-er.
I have had reservations to visit The Broad for two months longer than forever. 
The night before everyone went to bed there were rounds of medicine, vitamin infused drinks and interrogations of “how do you feel? How is your head? Are you achey? You don’t feel feverish but do you feel warm?” Etc etc etc. as of the night before we were all systems go. The morning of Kap was tired and Co had a mild headache….we went for it.

First stop was introducing the kids to the wonders of Donut Friend. You may remember me singing the praises of Donut Friend in my last post. I FINALLY got my Jets to Basil and it was perfect.  

 The kids loved them (Brayden I think was the most impressed) George kept saying how he wished we lived closer. I’m secretly glad we don’t because my self control is non existent.
After a stop by Hollyhock house (another location I visited in during my last solo adventure) Kaplan has always enjoyed the Hollywood sign ever since she was little so she liked seeing everything from this view. Although this time around she mentioned that it should say “Kaplan” instead of “Hollywood” …I might be raising a tyrant.

We made our way to the Broad.   First off. Thank God for reservations. The standby line was terrifying and I admire every single one of those people for their sticktoittiveness. I couldn’t do it no matter how badly I wanted to see something. Heck I won’t wait for Space Mountain without a fast pass. It’s a very simple process, done online and I think they’re currently taking reservations for March. 

Once you arrive you’re put into a line and pre-checked in until your reservation time. Read up on visiting the museum and reserving an additional time-slot for special exhibits here, it has a ton of great info.

So taking kids to the Broad….first of all Kap was still on the tired side so she and I spent a 1/5 of the time sitting on benches admiring various pieces of work for ten minute stretches. Besides our bench sitting Kaps favorite part was an untitled oil painting by Rudolf Stingel, Kaplan’s Favorite. Secondly some of the art can be suggestive. Brayden and Kap are both of the age where they can look at it objectively and understand the emotion it evokes instead of the image at “face value” (please understand none of it was “lewd” but you do want to be with your children when you’re walking through). On that note, Co pointed out several times that he was “pretty sure that’s a penis.” after explaining impressions and how art affects the human emotion  Co decided his favorite part was The infinity mirrored room 

  It was truly incredible. 

Brayden’s favorite artist was Barbara Kruger 

I’m having a moment of pride here because all of the kids favorites were mine.


From The Broad we went to Little Pine a new organic, vegan bistro in Silverlake for a late brunch. I had been looking forward to going ever since I found out that all profits go to animal welfare organizations. I mean come on. Wonderfully calm setting, vegan food and it’s for a good cause? It’s almost too perfect.  The kids didn’t order much (their appetites have been sporadic since getting over their various illnesses). Kap decided on the Strawberry “Poptart” which she says “is so good, way better then a regular Poptart” (I feel like I need to point out that I can’t tell you the last time we had Poptarts in the house). 

 Brayden got the strawberry lemonade, Co and George got the Peanut Butter, cacao, cashew banana smoothie and they both loved it. 

 I ordered the vegetable frittata and immediately started thinking of ways I could make something similar at home (we don’t live close by) and George got the French toast. It looked so, so, so decadent. I had a bit of the crust and holy crap. If I hadn’t wanted to try everything on the menu I would order the French toast hands down. I do feel the need to mention that if you have to choose between the peach Bellini and the strawberry basil Bellini you should choose the strawberry basil. 

 So good. Side note: the little retail store in the front of the restaurant is every nature lovers dream. Plates featuring elegant sketches of deer, candles that perfectly capture various outdoors brought indoor themes, sage bundles, recipe books, the list can go on and on.  

This is actually a squinty face picture in the bathroom…I liked the picture hanging on the wall and the natural light.

Our last stop was at Wackos Soap Plant .

 I’m not sure what I was expecting but I think I was expecting something a little more…original? Maybe it’s from living in California my whole life but it reminded me of a really large Spencer’s gifts with a dash of the novelty section at Urban Outfitters. The coolest part was the art gallery in the back of the store. Turns out we missed Kevin Smith by about 4 hours (something Brayden pointed out to me very quickly and seemed a little put out about).  
It was a nice, relaxed adventure day for some recuperating kids. I can’t wait for our next one.   



This. This. A million times. This. To anyone that wants to know “what it feels like” This. Read it. Then read it again.

survive being left

Tattoo discrimination in my hometown: Follow up (not so much a rant this time)

First off, a personal comment from me:
My last post in response to the oppositions social media posts that cast the tattooed person in a not so great light. I spoke with someone that (I feel) was of the opposing stance, and they were unaware that things were being phrased that way. After hearing some of the opposition speak, I believe that, for the most part, they didn’t mean to come off the way they did in the posts on Facebook (which is unfortunate because it cast a lot of those opposed in a negative way, again, in my opinion). However, I do believe that some of the older generation might still need some persuading that we’re not all scary people. Which is ok.
Many people used they phrase “it’s normal to fear the unknown”. By the end of the meeting what was obvious is that EVERYONE there cares about our city and moving forward. That is our common ground and I am incredibly proud.

Now. Enough about my silly thoughts.

The outcome:

Last night the Planning Committee in Garden Grove listened to dozens of people in the community speak about how an art shop/ tattoo studio on Main Street would be beneficial, not only fiscally, but for injecting some of the current culture into the old and existing.
The meeting started at 7 pm (I was getting text updates from George who was there representing our family while I put the kids to bed) and one of the first texts I got is “wow. There are A LOT of people here”. In fact the council commented how it was the biggest turn out they had ever had. People stood lining the walls in the back. Myself included by the time I arrived a little before 9 o’clock.

It was fantastic. It was positive. It was respectful and it was full of the energy of people wanting what they feel is best for their community. If I try to explain the outcome I will completely botch it because I know next to nothing about zoning or conditional permits and the like. Instead Kurtis Gibson of Black Umbrella (the gentleman who wants to open the shop) had this to say on Facebook this morning:

“It is hard to fully realize how much I don’t have control of things. God has a goal for us on this street.
So we have to go back for another meeting next month. But the commission voted to deny staff’s recommendation of denial. So next meeting is to approve the limits on the conditional use permits. Because of Krystin Gibson and all of you! This happened.
‪#‎GardenGrove‬ sees what we can give it!
Thank you everyone who showed up, everyone who wanted to show up, everyone who posted and share and signed the petition. Every single one of you are awesome!”

Furthermore another supporter had posted this:

“*Update. The Planning Committee overturned the denial of the staff recommendation to deny us of our permit. We will have to go to a Conditional Use meeting for the permit, then the City Council for Final Approval (All Invited!). Let your voice be herd, it works! 50 speakers spoke last night. 6 of 6 unanimous voted for Black Umbrella Art Studio to be the Catalyst of Change on Main St. GG.”

I thought this post was so important because change requires follow through and responsibility. I’m excited for these positive changes to happen in our city and I want to thank everyone that came out and expressed their opinions, the commissioners that sat until 11 pm and to everyone who has taken the time to support this.

Near or far, your voices make a difference.

Thank you.




Tattoo discrimination in my home town.(warning: a rant)

Discrimination is a strong word. Something we associate with bigotry, something we view as (hopefully) bygone backwards thinking.

Those that are different.
Being treated differently.
Being viewed as negative stereotypes.

Websters dictionary defines discrimination as: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Tattoos do not fall under the category of race, age or sex. However they do fall under the category of “different”. To be fair I don’t consider the color of anyone’s skin or the gender of anyone while tattooing my own flesh.
Just FYI.

In my home town a tattoo shop has been trying to establish itself on our Main Street.

The same home town where I rode my bike as a child, ran tame ’til street lights came on in the summer, where I have worked, known public servants, raised my own children, paid taxes, volunteered, defended against the slur “Garbage Grove,” contributed financially at various festivals, historical societies, Boys and Girls Clubs, Arbor Day works, elder care, church functions and day to day LIFE.

This same home town is telling everyone that will listen that a tattoo shop with an art studio in front is basically a “candy store with cigarettes in the back”.
Ironic considering an existing liquor store on Main Street sells both candy and cigarettes in front. Alongside one another.

People that have tattoos, i.e. service men, my brother included that served in Afghanistan (how does that freedom taste Main Street council?), professional athletes, dance instructors, artists, police men and women, teachers, have also been lumped in with “types” that will bring “God only knows what” to Main Street.

Again. Ironic considering the gentleman trying to open the studio is active in his church and a devoted family man.

Let me tell you a little something about our Main Street.

It’s dead.


They have a car show every Friday that is frequented by the same people every week (I would wager 30% of which have tattoos, and before you start checking facts MSNBC has reported that 20% of Americas population have tattoos, up from 13% in 2007). And a farmers market on Sunday that I forget about and I LIVE a half a mile away. They have a kitschy restaurant with Elvis memorabilia, subpar service and a full bar. Another bar. A steak house with a full bar. And a fledgling sushi establishment with (I think) a full bar. Yet a tattoo parlor will change the “tone” of Main Street?

I personally get tattooed in Fullerton. Do you know when I get tattooed? On Saturday evenings when it is more quiet in a tattoo shop than a library at 11:00 am on a Thursday.

Do you know why?

All of the trouble makers are out getting wasted at bars. At my tattoo shop it’s peaceful. It’s quiet. And it’s where I spend my money.

And I’m not alone.

On Saturday evening I went from our tattoo shop in Fullerton to The District in Tustin and you know what? The District, full of intoxicated soccer moms free from the kids felt more obnoxious.

While yes. There can be trouble where any sort of “unseemly crowd” might be present, but that can happen anywhere (can we all recall the drunk gentlemen accosting the guard at the happiest place on earth in front of children)?

I digress.

If we’re going to talk dollars and cents, when I get tattooed, I go for 3 hours MINIMUM. Whomever is with me always wanders off to local establishments and spends money at coffee shops, retail stores and restaurants. Tell me how it’s “bad” to give back to the local economy. Furthermore, I asked all of the lovely people on Facebook as to whom these people are that are so scared of the tattooed folk. Please, let me know. I’m a tax paying citizen who also happens to be a hard core introvert. I will avoid negativity and confrontation at any cost and will tell others to do so as well.

These people are my neighbors?
The people that wave so cheerfully to my children but scowl at their mother?
No thank you, sir. I will take my dollars, volunteer work and positive attitude elsewhere.

The outdated stigma of tattooed people is embarrassing. I’m ashamed that I live in a place where such discrimination can exist. If there were actual educated reasons for not allowing the rezoning to take place (such as blood born issues, etc) then I would say, “Ok, fair enough.” But a fear of “bloody skulls”?

*shakes head*
it’s shameful.

Closing: I have been told that the council meeting for June 18th has already been decided. That the City council will vote however the Main Street council dictates.

*sighs* I wasn’t ready to teach my children the corruption of politics. But I guess I have to start somewhere. Might as well be in our hometown.







Antelope Valley – for the record, no antelopes were seen

So if you’ve read my last blog post you’ll remember that I’ve been selfish with my time and effort so it’s taken me a whole two weeks to finally sit down and tell you about our awesome adventure out to Antelope Valley.

What first drew my eye was the Poppy Reserve . We had done flower fields in Carlsbad but I loved the idea of a more natural occurrence. Thankfully the website for the poppy reserve is very honest about the state of the flowers.

If it’s windy the flowers won’t be open.


We played it by ear and when we stopped for lunch and were hit by a strong gust of wind we decided no poppy would show it’s pretty face that day.

Moving on to the next item on my list. The Antelope Valley Indian Museum. Now the politically correct Californian in me pauses and wonders “can you say that? Are we allowed to say that?”

The Native American touring the museum with her Meso-American husband didn’t seem to mind and the 16th of my blood seemed ok with it so I didn’t take issue.

This museum is incredible. The gentleman they had working are knowledgable, helpful, friendly and welcoming. I felt like I couldn’t take enough pictures and the whole location of the museum had such a transported back in time vibe to it. Even down to the rusted out house on the back of the nature trail that winds around the museum and the abandoned motel and gas station on the road in.

The next stop was Vasquez Rocks. This park looks like another planet. Which would explain why it has been the location for several movies (something I didn’t know till after we got there). You’re welcome to climb all over the rock formations (at your own risk of course) and while the place wasn’t crawling with people I did notice 2-3 groups of photographers speaking German and other languages I couldn’t place.

There are certain places that just feel like home. Almost magical and both of these hit that mark (much like Joshua Tree in the spring or winter or a redwood forest in February or August).

Getting there takes a few hours from our home in Southern California so depending on how much time you want to spend on the road you can make it a day trip or spend a weekend in the area at various campgrounds and hotels.

Till next time, enjoy your adventures!