Spenard: It's a state of mind


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October 31, 2005

Well, it's been pretty quiet on our street lately. The new neighbors across the street at Disgraceland keep to themselves. The neighbors from hell in the former methlab seem to have moved on.

While that's all good for the residents of Rancho Spenardo, for you it means this is just another boring blog by some chick who posts shit about her cat.

So I ventured outside to find some sign that Spenard was still as seedy as it ever was. Little did I know it was an actual sign that I would find.

It's posted high on a utility pole,  parallel to Spenard Road and largely invisible to passing cars.

But if you were to stand across the street, this is what you would see:

Sources say the sign has been up for more than a month now. No word on who put it up or why  the hookers haven't taken it down yet. But at least we know that Spenard is still the sleazy little dump it always was.

For those of you who may have missed the Sunday Anchorage Daily News, check out this story featuring our own Angela Ramirez. It's about artists who create stuff that just a little on the creepy side.  (If you need a login/password, I recommend bugmenot.com)



Happy Halloween!





October 28, 2005

 Are you ready for Halloween?


Ah...Halloween. El Rancho Spenardo's favorite holiday. See, the Ranch has long been considered by neighborhood children to be "The Witch House." Every now and again, some kid will ask one of us "Are you really a witch?"  A few years back, Johanna even wrote about it in the Anchorage Press.

Every neighborhood has the scary witch house. Here at ground zero Spenard, the Ranch is it - scaring more people than even the Hell's Angels' clubhouse down the street.

It's not a bad reputation to have. It helps keep the kids and Mormon missionaries out of the yard. To reinforce the image, we tend to keep Halloween decorations up year round. Like Mr. Skully - he's been guarding the front door now for over two years.

Yes, we love Halloween at Rancho Spenardo. Come trick-or-treating this Monday.....if you dare! 


October 27, 2005

So yours truly is a judge again for the Anchorage International Film Festival This is the fifth year in a row that I've sat on the short film panel. Over the course of four nights, we've watched about 10 hours of short films. 

This weekend the panel convenes to choose the winning films, each of us presenting our case for best film in hopes of swaying the others. It kinda sounds sophisticated and dignified, don't it? Truth is, it's a buncha film nuts locked in a room with pizza and beer - debating, arguing,  pleading, screaming, speechifying, pouting, bargaining - not allowed to leave until the first, second and third place films have been chosen. It's never come to physical blows, but hey - this could be the year.

In one of those small world moments that seem to happen a lot in Alaska, one film entry had actually shot some scenes in Barrow. I was quite surprised to see a woman I know there in a small but credited role. If that wasn't small-world enough,  as I watched the credits I recognized the cinematographer as a friend from my crazy old Hollywood days. 

I have been told that Bill Plympton is coming to the festival this year with a program of his films. This makes me very happy as it's  been many a moon since I've seen a Plymptoon on the big screen. Check out clips of his recent stuff here. There are also rumors of a couple big-name Hollywood types, but I don't wanna jinx anything.

The AIFF is going to be one of the things I'll miss the most when I leave Alaska. Where the hell am I gonna schmooze in Woodland, Alabama? There's not even 200 people in that town! Besides, you cannot schmooze properly in a place that doesn't allow the sale of alcohol.

Ah well. . . once I move, there will be no time for schmoozing anyway. My dance card will be filled with chickens and cows. I'll be busy killing kudzu and digging postholes. And of course I'm hoping to satisfy my archaeological cravings at the nearby site of my family's pioneer homestead.  Yeah, like I'll have time to go to cocktail parties. 

I read a quote recently that keeps running through my head:

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dammit, Ike! Stop trying to rain on my parade!



October 21, 2005

Tomorrow is your chance to catch resident Rancho artist, Angela Ramirez, at Out North Contemporary Art House performing excerpts from her  upcoming show "Deep in the Hoodie." This is what she was working on all summer after being  awarded a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation. It's a glimpse into the scary side of Spenard, where it's best not to get caught walking after dark. 

It's only $5 at the door and there will be an audience discussion afterwards.  

New York dramaturge, director, playwright, actor and all-around great guy David Drake (Son of Drakula, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me) was in town last week and worked with Angela to polish this work.

Yours truly also had the wonderful opportunity to work with David on my yet untitled piece for Out North's "Under 30" series. His expertise was invaluable as this is my first time writing for the stage. But you'll have to wait until January for my big acting debut.  

Until then, go see Angela tomorrow night at 7pm.




October 13, 2005

Did you know that Hawaiian Vacations sucks?


*UPDATE* The website is down while the author gives Hawaiian Vacations another chance to prove they don't suck. Of course, if you still want to read it, Google has cached the pages. 


October 10, 2005

Well, crap. I've been so busy that I haven't been posting much here. And I'm still busy. But for the couple people who've been checking in, here's something scary (just in time for Halloween):




Comments? Questions? Spare change? 

Send it to Jackie at RanchoSpenardo.com


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