Sunday, September 25, 2005


Well it's about time these guys got recognized. They were voted second best band in Modesto, California after the Modesto symphony. The thing is, they never played Modesto. Go figure. Anyhow, this book ,"Better to Reign in Hell Inside the Raider Empire"...
mentions them a number of times and has a few good photographs. Here's their website...
If you want to take the road less traveled by, go to a Slackenloader for a truly wild time. These are a bunch of regular guys who work magic every weekend in bars in the central valley. I have stumbled home from many shows and It's amazing I'm still alive. Way to go guys!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

San Francisco Chronicle article

Well here it is. I love Brugmansias. I enjoyed writing this. Andrew

The call of the angels' trumpet leads to lifelong fascination with showy plant
Andrew Glazier, Special to The Chronicle
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The first time I saw an angels' trumpet flower was in the early 1990s. It was growing over a fence in Berkeley. I stopped my bike and just looked at it for a few minutes because I couldn't identify it. I pride myself at being pretty good at identifying flowering plants, but this creature had me stumped.
The way the trumpet-shape flowers hung straight down kept me guessing. I gently held one in my hands and tilted it toward me. There was a mild, sweet fragrance. The flower was the color of orange sherbet. As I looked up the throat, I realized it was a nightshade plant in the solanaceae family. This is the family that includes tomatoes, potatoes, hot peppers, tobacco, petunias and datura, a roadside weed.
The angels' trumpet flower looks most like a huge datura flower. Anyone who's ever seen the Georgia O'Keefe painting of the datura blossom associates it with the desert. It stands upright and can be seen easily during a full moon. Angels' trumpets, or as they are correctly called, brugmansia, hang straight down or at angles and are found in the tropics.
I slowly pedaled away, making mental notes to return with the hope of gathering seeds from these flowers. A few weeks later, I returned. The plant was no longer flowering and there were no seed pods to be had. I snipped a cutting and rushed home to put it water with the hope of its growing roots. I placed it in a vase and figured it would take a week or two to begin rooting. Twenty-four hours later, the cutting had begun to swell where the water met the stem and little white bumps had formed where the roots would grow next. I immediately removed the plant from the water, put it in a 1-gallon pot with soil, watered it well and put it in a shady spot in the garden. Incredibly, less than 72 hours after cutting it from the mother plant, it was becoming erect again. While it did drop a few leaves, it appeared to be adjusting well.
I didn't find the name of these plants for a while; back then, I couldn't Google common names of plants to find their Latin names as I do now. I heard that the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum had some and, after searching the grounds, I found a number of huge specimens in the back of the gardens. I was shocked to see the variety of colors they came in: red, orange, yellow, white and peach. There were truly large flowers and some that were quite small. Some were large single flowers and some double flowers, one inside another. I also discovered seedpods, so I knew they could be grown from seed. Because the next plant sale was not soon, I was encouraged to volunteer, as a shortcut to obtaining seeds.
I met a worker named Don Mahoney who answered many of my questions about these plants: Why do they hang down when a related plant, datura, stood straight up? He explained brugmansia are tropical plants from areas of heavy rainfall. Any flowers pointing straight up would quickly be flooded. This behavior can also be seen in abutilons or, as they are commonly called, Chinese lanterns. They hang down but other plants in the mallow family, which they are from, stand upright.
I began to spend a few hours each weekend at the botanical garden and was able to buy cuttings of each of the varieties. Most grew well but I discovered that the smaller flowered ones, Brugmansia sanguinea and B. vulcanicola, were quite temperamental. I learned the hard way not to place them in full sun. Unlike most members of the solanaceae, they are not necessarily sun lovers. Brugmansia like rich, well-composted soil. I use tomato fertilizer occasionally to give them a kick-start, and I try to make sure they have ample organic matter around their roots.
I have had some success cross-pollinating different brugmansia but, until I purchased the book "Brugmansia and Datura: Angel's Trumpets and Thorn Apples" by Ulrike and Hans-Georg Preissel at the San Francisco Botanical Garden bookstore, it was hit-and-miss. When a cross is successful, seedpods of different shapes appear. Some are quite round and others elongated. The seeds have a corklike texture and are shaped like little puzzle pieces inside the seedpod. The seeds readily germinate in warm, moist locations, and because the plants are so easy to propagate by cuttings, the majority of varieties in the Bay Area may be the same. Germany has quite a few new hybrids available in a dizzying array of colors and shapes.
These plants, especially the single-flowered ones, look stunning with lights pointing upward at their base. The flowers glow in the evening. My favorite is 'Charles Grimaldi.' I set some lights at the base and pointed them upward and the flowers catch the light and look like paper lanterns with candles inside -- a display that impressed my neighbors.
All parts of a brugmansia plants are poisonous and people with small children should be cautious. Pets seem to know better than to eat the plants, and snails take a few bites and then move on. Spider mites are the one creature that likes brugmansia, and I use a brass nozzle sprayer to knock them off. If plants get heavily infested, they can be cut back aggressively and will sprout back soon after.
Brugmansia can get quite large. A cafe in the Lower Haight in San Francisco had one in its back area, which was at least 25 feet tall.
Illie Gaceu, a construction worker who volunteers at Strybing on the weekends, is an expert on brugmansia. Latin names roll off his tongue as he walks me through a quiet area in the back of the gardens, identifying plants out of bloom at a distance by leaf alone. He tells me that there are seven recognized species of brugmansia: B. arborea, B. aurea, B. insignis, B. sanguinea, B. suavolens, B. versicolor and B. vulcanicola. The last was loved by the famous Harvard botanist Richard Schultes, who was hiking on the Puracé volcano in Colombia when he stopped to observe the plant. Then the volcano erupted. Schultes credited the plant with saving his life by attracting him with its flowers.
Different things pollinate brugmansia. Hummingbirds pollinate some blooms during the day. Others blooms are white and fragrant and reflect the moonlight and are pollinated by moths or bats. Some brugmansia flower during lunar cycles, perhaps to be illuminated for pollinators.
In his home garden, Gaceu showed me two large and quite different brugmansia planted near each other. Between them is a perfect mix of the two. Its flower, though, will remain a mystery until next year.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Cool new flower

Here's a new flower discovered in China. It's a wild banana which is used as an ornament in Buddhist temples.
I want one.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sunset Magazine Article

This is an article about my brothers house I have worked on for the past few years. I love this house. Many thanks to Mary Jo Bowling for helping kick start my writing career.

Resort style: one family shows how to bring the vacation home
Sunset, Sept, 2004 by Mary Jo Bowling

Architect Robert Glazier fell in love with hotels while working as a busboy at a Sheraton. "It was a place where the environment was relaxed and people came to have fun," he says. Thirty years later, his love affair is still going strong, as he and business partner John Hill create luxury resorts around the world. Robert has brought the spirit of some of their best work--which includes the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kona, Hawaii, and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica--to his own home on a modest lot in Palo Alto, California.

That's not to say the 2,200-square-foot house looks like a grand resort. It's actually a contemporary take on Spanish colonial revival, inspired by examples Robert and his wife, Kelli, admire in the area, such as the old police station and the post office in downtown Palo Alto. But the Glaziers wanted to avoid an artificial, theme park look. "You can't really re-create something from the past," he says. "You end up with something that's just trying to look old. You can design something that's sympathetic to history, but totally new."

The white stucco walls, dark floors, central entry courtyard, and tile roof are reminiscent of a traditional Mediterranean house. Making it contemporary are the openness--the first floor is essentially one large space--a sculptural staircase, large windows, and simple moldings.

Kelli, an artist, reinforced the house's spa-like serenity with a mix of comfortable, clean-lined furniture and straightforward, rustic pieces in a subdued color palette. Vivid splashes of color come from the tropical plants outside--the large windows put them on display. "At first, our plan was to bring in wild, colorful artwork," says Kelli. "We brought some home, and we just couldn't live with it. It's more soothing this way." In other words, the plants and blossoms become the artwork.
In this house, the personal touches--such as pots, furniture, and art picked up on the couple's travels--add soul. And the way each room feels like a retreat makes visitors wonder where they can check in.
DESIGN: Robert Glazier, Hill Glazier Architects, Palo Alto, CA ( or 650/617-0366)
LANDSCAPE DESIGN: Andrew Glazier, Wild West Gardens, Livermore, CA ( or 510/828-4302)

A balcony draped in bougainvillea and dotted with potted geraniums accents the entry courtyard. Robert and Kelli Glazier and daughter Beau spend much of their time there and on the rear patio. The garden doorway and glass-bottle vases add to the sense of calm.
Kelli jazzed up white curtains by sewing on bright pompoms.
* Fern-lined limestone pavers bend toward a Buddha statue.
* Robert designed the stair landing to function as a library. The books also act as a sound buffer.
* The staircase's geometry is accentuated by chocolate brown stain.

RELATED ARTICLE: Nature and nurture
* The long front courtyard wall becomes a canvas for the branching patterns of a creeping fig. Olive trees and rosemary reinforce the Mediterranean ambience.
* A square fountain surrounded by colorful succulents makes the entry courtyard resemble a Spanish garden.
* The quiet, neutral color palette of the living room acts as a foil for bright floral accents.
* In the kitchen, the clean lines, symmetrical organization, connection to nature, and two-tone color palette contribute to the relaxing feeling.

Here's a website I like a lot!
Here's a poem about the Saguaros and their world.

SAGUARO SKELETON DREAM Copyright © 2001 by Lorena B. Moore
In the black volcanic mountains I came to a saguaro's grave. Resigned to pain and rot, it may have fallen with a heavy gasp, swollen with winter rain. Or maybe the black slime illness carried off the flesh, Leaving the creaking skeleton to shatter in a monsoon stormwind. The fallen one has as much presence on the ground as it had in the now-empty air, The arms once upraised to the sun in trance or prayer Now embracing the ground with equal reverence.
I will stretch out on the ghostwood poles, Fit my hands to the arm ribs, rest my feet on the rootknobs. Bright heat will settle on my back like a sheet of copper. Ravens will not know my hair from the haze of cobwebbed spines. Huge rainmaker beetles will drop out of thunderclouds and shelter under my fingers. My vertebrae will collapse among snakeskins and silver cactus bones, Just before the floodwater carries it all down the wash in an ecstatic torrent of sand.
We will rise as hornpods and hummingbirds. Our spiritwalk will follow Jaguarundi's tracks. We will dance with gray hawks and red dragonflies. Our songs will ripen and rattle on the wild gourd vine. Coyote will sing them when he calls the ocotillo flowers Out of the illusion of death.

Otis College of Art

I went to college at what was once called Otis Parsons and is now called the Otis College of Art in L.A. They have a website at . It was ironic that an art school didn't print a yearbook but finally they have a website and they are putting up all the work of their students going back to classes in the 1920's! Here's a link about me... . I'm glad they have chosen to include students who did other than visual arts.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Been busy lately.

Well I haven't been posting much lately. The images from New Orleans have been so unbelieveable that I can't turn it off. I have two friends who lost family in the floodwaters. I started a fundraiser in Oakland to turn our frustrations into something good. I hope you all will too.