Friday, August 31, 2007

New Old Music

Some folks at work purged their CD collection and brought freebies for us to peruse. I picked up quite a few gems. Among them were the Beatles (Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper, and Yellow Submarine), Spock's Beard V, Aerosmith Get A Grip, Temple of the Dog's self-titled release, a couple of Alice in Chains, and a few Pearl Jam titles that I've never heard.
What a deal! I never have money for new music anymore so this is a fantastic find especially the Beatles discs because I lost all of them in a theft a few years back. Yeah! New stuff to listen to.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Sarah and I found out last night that we both have parts in the Christmas musical at church. I will be Narrator/Granger. Granger is the villain. Mwa-ha-ha! Sarah will be playing Mary Jo/Poor Woman. If memory serves from the first read through, her character is pregnant but not married. Scandalous when you consider the action is set in the 1930's.
This year the show is a musical. I will be so glad to be able to exercise my vocal chops again. I'll have to get my voice back in shape since I haven't sung in over 3 years. Back in the saddle, eh?
We're both excited about it. It will be alot of work but last year's experience was so much fun and we met so many great people. We all went through a sort of depression when last year's show was over. Here we go again!

Monday, August 27, 2007


The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
"Once the safest, most prosperous place on earth, the United States is now a lawless, scantly populated wasteland. The machines have stopped. The government has collapsed. Farmlands lie fallow and the soil is contaminated by toxins. Across the country, families have packed up their belongings to travel eastward toward the one hope left: passage on a ship to Europe.
Franklin Lopez and his brother, Jackson, are only days away from the ocean when Franklin, nearly crippled by an inflamed knee, is forced to stop. In the woods near his temporary refuge, Franklin comes upon an isolated stone building. Inside he finds Margaret, a woman with a deadly infection and confined to the Pesthouse to sweat out her fever. Tentatively, the two join forces and make their way through the ruins of old America. Confronted by bandits rounding up men for slavery, finding refuge in the Ark, a religious community that makes bizarre demands on those they shelter, Franklin and Margaret find their wariness of each other replaced by deep trust and an intimacy neither one has ever experienced before."*
This book was slow but the story was sweet and the relationship between to the two protagonists was interesting. I can't say it's the best book I've ever read. I picked it up because I read a review of it that made it seem interesting. It's a critically acclaimed book. Why didn't I like it more? What is it about me that doesn't like the movies and books that critics just rave about? Am I too lowbrow to appreciate the subtle beauty of this story? Was I bored because there was no action? I have no answers to these questions. I guess I'm just one of those people that likes to be entertained. Life pretty much sucks so I enjoy some good escapism. That's probably as good a seque as any into my next book...

The Walking Dead: Volumes 4 and 5 by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
"The Walking Dead is an ongoing fictional story centered around a small-town police officer from Kentucky named Rick Grimes, his family, and a number of other survivors who have banded together in order to survive after the world is overrun with zombies. As the series progresses, Rick and the others become more developed, and their personalities shift under the stress of a zombie apocalypse. Fighting growing despair — and occasionally each other — the group searches for a secure location which they can finally call home."**
As usual, a good zombie story is not about the zombies but about the people surviving the zombies. This is a pretty good one. I didn't enjoy these volumes as much as the first 3 but they were okay. Be warned: they are pretty graphic. Volume 5 had a particularly gruesome torture scene that I ended up skipping past. (and nothing bothers me) I'm hoping the library gets Volume 6 so I can find out what happens next.

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1: Power and Responsibility by Mark Bagley and Brian Michael Bendis
This book reimagines the story of Spidey from the beginning for a more contemporary audience.
This series was recommended by a friend but I didn't care for it too much. The reimagining was too "hip" to be clever. The older I get, the more I appreciate the comics of my youth. Sure, these new comics boast better writing and better art (in some cases) but they lack a certain innocence...a naivete that worked. Don't get me wrong...I love some of the new, dark comics but a part of me longs for the simple stories of yesteryear. I guess I'm just getting nostalgic in my old age. I think it eventually happens to everybody. SIGH!


Urban Exploration

Check out these resources about Michael Cook, an urban explorer in Canada. He explores and photographs sewers and tunnels. His photos are amazing!

Bldg Blog Interview
Cook's Website

This is very interesting to me because when I was in college and very seriously doing photography I did quite a bit of urban exploration myself. My favorite places to explore and shoot were Fort Pickens and an old house my dad bought to restore (but never did).
Fort Pickens is amazing but the best parts of the fort are now closed to the public. The best parts to explore were the old batteries that were completely submerged below the dunes. We used to go in there and turn out the flashlight and freak each other out. I loved looking at all the graffiti on the walls. Eventually they put up these huge iron doors to keep people out. A friend of mine who is in law enforcement encouraged us to not explore out there anymore. When we asked him why he said it was because some local Satan worshippers were using the place for rituals and sacrifices. He also said if we just had to go in, please take a pistol. No lie! I'm not sure if we ever went back in after that but it was a moot point since the doors went up pretty soon after that as well.
The old house was more accessible. I took quite a lot of photos there over the years. My favorites are the ones that my friends Todd and Susan posed for. Spooky!
My other favorite place to take photos was cemetaries. I love the statuary in the old ones. My best cemetary story is from Memphis. I had moved there to attend the Memphis College of Art (a disaster). One Sunday afternoon I went exploring and came across Elmwood Cemetary. I parked and went inside to wander around. The place is huge. I was shooting pics left and right when all of a sudden a guy in a pickup truck pulls up alongside me. He asks what I'm doing there and I tell him I'm taking pics for my college photo class. He relaxes at that and proceeds to tell me that it's cool if I come to take pics but would I come by the office and tell him I'm there because the cemetary isn't the safest place to be. At the time, it backed up to a rough housing development and many, many crimes were perpetrated on the cemetary grounds including murder and rape. He told me not to come in at night because they released vicious dogs on the grounds. When I told him I would heed his advice he gave me a mini-tour of the grounds. It was great. He even showed me where the famous people were buried like Kit Carson and I believe he told me that Elvis was originally buried there but they had to move him to Graceland because it was so crazy. He was a grizzled old fellow and he knew absolutely everything about the place. It was a great afternoon. I spent many an afternoon there shooting pictures. I hope that one day I can buy a negative scanner so I can share these pictures on the internet.
What a great time I used to have on my photographic expeditions. It makes me want to grab my camera and take off.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Letters Reveal Mother Teresa's Doubts

A very interesting revelation. Read about it or watch video here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Read the Books!

We just finished watching The Dresden Files: The Complete First Season on DVD last night. I normally don't review movies but since I'm such a fan of the books I thought I'd warn people to stay away from this.
I love the books. It's a great series about a wizard named Harry (yeah, I know) Dresden who lives in Chicago and hires out his wizarding skills like a private investigator. It's just alot of fun. So, the Sci-Fi Channel decides to create a series based on the books and then, after the pilot, decides to chuck nearly everything from the books and make it a formulaic magical PI show. What's crazy is that the pilot is pretty good. It follows the first book enough that it's recognizable and Harry actually does magic and stuff. And another crazy thing, they showed the episodes out of order on TV so you got the pilot as like episode 5. So, you're watching this show about a wizard named Dresden that's sort of like the books but not exactly and then in episode 5 you suddenly get a story from the book. And the continuity was screwed because for the pilot he's in a completely different apartment/office with a different font style on the door spelling out "Harry Dresden, Wizard."
I'm not going to go on. You've all seen this before. TV and movies always mess up our favorite books especially nowadays. It's pathetic. I'd much rather invest in a series or movie that's original so that I have no preconceived notions to get in the way of me enjoying it. But therein lies the problem. Hollywood has run out of original ideas. They keep rehashing the same crap over and over again. When they do finally buy into a great concept like putting The Dresden Files on TV as a series, they inevitably screw it up.
Hollywood, listen up! If you're going to do an adaptation of something that is beloved and has a fan base, try a little harder to get it right. And don't tell us you have to adapt the story to make it work. No you don't! Stop trying to improve on the canon that's already established. You're ideas won't be as good. Oh, don't believe me? Here are a few examples.
- The Green Goblin's costume in the first Spider-Man film. You brilliantly cast Willem Dafoe as Gobby and then hide his excellent face behind a robotic mask?
- In the second X-Men movie, who's lame idea was it to make Nightcrawler a religious freak with ritual scarification all over his body? And let's face it, Hugh Jackman is a good Wolverine but in comparison to the comic version, he's a major wuss.
- In Superman Returns, you bring back Lex Luthor as the villian. We are tired of Lex Luthor. Supes has other more powerful enemies. Bring them on. And you cast Parker Posie as Lex's sidekick and then gave her nothing to do? Shameful!
Okay, I'm showing my nerdiness by using only superhero movies but I think you can understand where I'm coming from. I don't want Hollywood to taint anymore of my favorite things. I've heard that they are going to do a Jonny Quest movie. Man, it could be so great if they did that right but I'm so afraid they're going to screw it up.
Hollywood, please don't ruin everything I enjoy! Please?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rock-A-Bye Bear

I decided to cheer myself up with one of my favorite cartoons. Tex Avery was a mad genius!

Creativity, Cats and the Church

I'm kind of down this week and I think I've figured out why.

- I'm having a run of non-inspiration in regards to my art of late. I have been sitting in my studio not having ideas and not being productive and it's really got me down. I need to get really annoyed, move into anger and then just collage that anger into creativity again.
- The whole sick cat situation has been a pain in the butt. They are now both on meds and special diets. Due to said diets they cannot eat each others food so feeding Max has been a chore. Mickey is of no concern in that area. He's eating everything and would devour Max's food too if we let him. So, for a few nights we had to get up in the middle of the night numerouse times to feed Max and it's starting to wear us down. Last night we decided to shut our door and just let them wait until morning. It worked out pretty well. Here's hoping sleep will help improve my mood.
- A friend recently had to resign from his church to avoid dismissal. This kind of stuff really gets me down because it brings up all my past bad dealings with churches. I have much empathy for him in this situation and I wish him well.

So, here's hoping for increased creativity, well cats, good sleep, and justice in churches run by pharisees.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials Book 1 by Philip Pullman
"In a landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling, Philip Pullman invites readers into a world as convincing and thoroughly realized as Narnia, Earthsea, or Redwall. Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing; victims of so-called Gobblers; and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved."*
I am going to ignore all of the anti-church rancor I've heard surrounding this set of books and just review it as a story. Perhaps after I've read all three I will be able to render an opinion on Pullman's agenda. Right now, I don't see much.
I like the story but it took some effort to get into the story. It doesn't begin with a bang and it takes some time for Lyra (our heroine) to get into her adventure. When things started rolling, I enjoyed it very much. The characters are engaging even if Lyra isn't a completely likable protagonist. She's a bit of a snot in the beginning but she softens a bit as the story moves along. The folks she meets along the way are really interesting. The gyptians, the bears, the aeronaut, the witches and the elegant yet sinister Mrs. Coulter all captured my imagination. I tried very hard to not insert the images from the upcoming movie into my brain but I had a hard time of it.
So, once we got some action and some good characters moving around I was hooked. And boy, did it end on a cliffhanger or what?
As for theological issues, I saw a few inklings but nothing substantial to hook into yet. I have heard, however, that the movie version will play down the anti-church angle so as not to offend anybody. As I've said before, I'll reserve judgement until the end but it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. According to a few things I've read, people are saying that Christians should be more concerned about this set of books than they have been about Harry Potter. We'll see.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Percussion News

I bought 2 used conga basket stands today for $25. They are usually around $50 apiece. I've been looking for months and it finally paid off. Now that I have them, I think I might try to find one more so that I can do a three drum setup with my congas and djembe. Now, all I need is an opportunity to play them.
I suppose I should be on the lookout for a throne (drum seat) and I still want to get an authentic African djembe. Sarah makes fun of me for my wishlist of expensive toys.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Walpuski's Typewriter by Frank Darabont
A failed writer, Howard Walpuski, has his typewriter repaired by a strange fellow with tendencies toward the supernatural. A deal is struck and Howard's writing finds success...but at what price?
This is a pretty typical sell-your-soul-get-screwed story. I thought it might be clever since it was written by Darabont. I really love his movies. It's not clever. It's straight out of the early Steven King school of horror stories. I can see now why he likes to direct stories by King so much. He loves the guy. I'm glad it was short.

A Moment of Contrast

Shopping at a thrift store listening to Styx's Mr. Roboto on the store's PA. Surreal.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Young Frankenstein: The Musical

On Tuesday night, Sarah and I were lucky enough to score comps to this new musical. It's in the midst of tryout performances in Seattle before moving on to NY. Seattle is home to a lot of tryouts like Hairspray and The Wedding Singer. Why? I don't know. Before I get into the review I'd like to say that it was a enjoyable evening and I'm glad I had the opportunity to see this show before it hits Broadway. And now, my review.
Although it was an enjoyable evening, the show, in my opinion, still has some tweaking to do. And tweak they will. That's what this whole run in Seattle is all about. Word has it that Mel Brooks is watching every performance with a critical eye. Someone we know saw it on Sunday and then on Tuesday and they said that they had already changed some things. It was, at times, hard to watch because the rhythms from the movie are not present in the musical. Nor will they be. It's unfair to compare Roger Bart's performance as Dr. Frankenstein with Gene Wilder's. Bart does a great job and he has to make the part his own. The same goes for all the other beloved characters as well. But that doesn't mean it's not hard on us who grew up worshipping and memorizing the movie.
Even though she had a relatively small part, Megan Mullally stole the show. Andrea Martin was hilarious as Frau Blucher. (anyone know why the horses whinny at the sound of her name?) Christopher Fitzgerald did an admirable job of imitating Marty Feldman's Igor from the original film. The rest of the cast did a good job but I can't say they were outstanding. Sutton Foster is talented but her Inga was a bit weak. Shuler Hensley is a talented guy but had little to do as the monster. Of course, Puttin' on the Ritz was his chance to shine but parts of it seemed a bit overblown. Fred Applegate was great as the Hermit but his Inspector Kemp was flat and boring, perhaps because he wasn't given enough to do.
This review is getting too long. I think I'll just link to a cool review I found on another blog. I agree with alot of what is said in it. That should cover it.
So, I'm glad I went, I'm glad it was free and I'm glad I can say I saw it before anyone in NY. (nanny-nanny-boo-boo) Also, Roger Bart walked right by me on the street. I can't complain.
Here are some pics from the show from Broadway World. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Ultimate Fantastic Four Volume 1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar and Adam Kubert
This book is part of the Ultimate Marvel line of comics which updates classic characters for a contemporary audience. A friend told me about this line. I don't keep up with comics anymore. I usually just read what the library has. So, after he told me, I checked to see if the library had it and they did. He actually told me to read Ultimate Spider-Man but I picked this one up first. I always loved the FF because the stories were always a good blend of sci-fi, fantasy and everything else thrown in for good measure. Of course, the Thing was my fave.
This book is pretty good. The story is interesting and the update actually works. I won't give away anything just in case there's some nerd out there that wants to read it and be surprised. I will probably see if the library has anymore. I enjoy graphic novels for light reading sometimes.
Now, let me rant here for a second. I wonder how many times you can update comic characters without it getting ridiculous? I actually gave up on comics for 2 reasons. 1) The price has become outrageous. 2) There are so many titles featuring any given character that continuity is out the window and you just can't keep up. A lot of what you see out there now is gimmick for the sake of making a buck. Hey, I'm not against making a buck but let's not get crazy. I can't figure out which Wolverine is the real one because there are so many versions floating around out there. Same goes for every character. And then there are the movie versions. It makes your head swim. I can't keep up so I don't. Thank goodness for the library.

Monday, August 13, 2007

June Cleaver Lives!

The Southern Baptists are at it again. I just read on a friend's blog that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (yes, I have a degree from there and I've never been prouder) "is introducing a new academic program in homemaking to as part of an effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and gender roles."*
This is just sad. I spent many a year fighting to try and get the Baptists to move forward and now they're moving backward. Perhaps they've invented a time machine and are going to change our present and future by seeding the past with a gaggle of Suzy Homemakers. Perhaps they got the idea from Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll who is trying to turn Seattle into a Christian city by convincing the women in his congregation to stay home and have babies. What are these people thinking? I'm at a loss for words.
If you want to read the full article, go here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready for my Close-Up."

Sarah and I auditioned for the Christmas musical at our church. We were both nervous. She because it's a musical and she doesn't really sing but she tried anyway, (Way to go, baby!) and me because I haven't sung in over 3 years and my voice isn't what it used to be. Casting will take place over the next couple of weeks and we'll hear the results when they're ready. I would really love to have a part but I totally trust Jeff (writer/director) to cast in the best interest of the production. Sarah and I left last year with our cast in mind and we were very, very close. Of course, I left auditions last year just knowing that there wasn't a part for me but I got a small part and it was fun. We'll see what happens this year.
I was really bummed to find out that a couple of our friends aren't auditioning this year due to conflicts with work schedules. That makes me so sad. I told Steve that, if I get a part, he'll just have to come hang out with me anyway. We had a blast last year!


Last night, Sarah and I attended Cabaretlook at NW Church. Cabaretlook is the senior project of Daniel Berryman and Miriam Schwartz. If I'm not mistaken, for one year they are presenting a night of music once a month to sponsor children through the Christian Relief Fund. That's pretty amazing considering that when I was a senior in high school the only thing I raised money for was me. They've been very successful so far and I'm sure they will continue to succeed. The entertainment was fantastic. Daniel lined up some talented friends from Roosevelt High School and they just blew us away. These young people are far and away more talented than your average high school students. Don't believe me? Go to their website and watch the videos.
Sarah and I will continue to support Cabaretlook as long as our schedules allow. It's a great night of hanging out with friends and listening to some great music.
Now, if only they would serve me up a slice of cheesecake...ah...heaven!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cat-Ass-Trophe Part ?

Max is at the vet again today for constipation issues. He had to have another enema. The doc says we are going to up his meds, add another medicine and add Metamucil or something like it to his diet. (if we can get it in him) The poor little guy.
I'm not much on prayer...but I do know that Sarah would appreciate some. Both of our cats have been very sick this year and it's starting to take a toll on us. Sarah moreso because they have been with her for 15 years.


Score! Sarah and I got free tickets to see the premiere of Young Frankenstein: The Musical at the Paramount on Tuesday night. We really wanted to see it but didn't have the money for it. After I found out Roger Bart and Megan Mullally are in the cast, I really wanted to see it. Well, as luck would have it, the Paramount offered Taproot comps. (They rarely do that) I can't wait until Tuesday.
Now, if only we could score comps to To Kill A Mockingbird at the Intiman next month.

Dad Update

I heard from mom late yesterday. Dad is doing fine. Good deal.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Dad's Ultrasound scheduled for this afternoon. I'll probably hear something by the end of the day. Let's just hope they can pulverize that stone into nothingness. I hear passing one of those things is a real booger.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I'm having a bit of a creative slump at the moment. I worked my tail off to get this show up and now I guess I could use a break. The problem is I need to get 4 more pieces done for the alumni show in Florida. I took a day off from art today. I just laid on the couch and watched episode 2 of Ken Burn's Jazz. Here's hoping that tomorrow I can get the old creativity moving again.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Since there are several folks I know who haven't read the book yet (my wife included since she's been waiting for me to finish) I won't divulge any spoilers in this review. I will say that I'd like to sit in a room with some other Potter fans around my age to see what they think. All I can say is that I think it's my least favorite of the books and the weakest. The story takes it's sweet time to get going, then when you think it's going it slows down again. I think that's why it took me so long to read. I had a hard time getting into it. I wish I could comment on some specifics but they would be spoilers. Darn! Anyway, once the book gets going again it's near the end. Then it stops for a whole chapter of exposition and then when you think it will start up again, it's the end. It was so anti-climactic. And then, the final chapter was just kinda sickly sweet.
So, not my favorite Harry Potter book and a disappointing end to a great series. I will miss Harry. I guess my consolation should be that there are 2 more movies to look forward to but, based on the last one, that doesn't get my hopes up.

Dad Report

The docs are sending him home today with pain meds. He will go back on Friday to have the kidney stones pulverized using ultrasound. I asked why they had to wait until Friday and the only answer I got was, "That's the day they do them." Alrighty then. Well, what did I expect from a hospital in Milton, Florida. I guess I should be happy they have an ultrasound.

Under 17 Not Admitted...

It said I was rated "R" due to the use of words like hell, ass and kill. I wonder what I would have gotten if I dropped the f-bomb.


My dad's in the hospital with kidney stones. At this point my mom says they don't know what they're going to do about it.
My parents are in the middle of a difficult week. They've had some minor to major problems with banks, realtors and the like. They've also had (more) problems with family in regards to my Granny's health and her move to a nursing home. Suffice it to say that these family members are, in my words, a waste of cells and don't have the brain power, or the the right, to know what's best for our Granny. And now, my dad gets waylaid by kidney stones. Nice.
It's always difficult to be so far away from home when a family member is sick. If you will, say a prayer for my dad. I'll keep you posted on his progress.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I Am Hung!

Carlo arrived late to my opening party on Sunday. The coffeehouse had closed and a bunch of us were hanging out on the sidewalk. He looked at me and said, "Are you hung?" What could I say to that but, "Yes I am!"
I now have 34 pieces of art hanging at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse in Shoreline. Hanging the show was a challenge due to the fact that the place was pretty busy. We had to dodge around people at computers to get it all done. We started hanging at 3 and finished in 1.5 hours. The folks at the coffeehouse didn't know we were having an opening party. They also didn't know about the guitarist that showed up to play. There were a few communication snafus but it all worked out in the end.
The "opening" was from 5 to 8 and we had people there the whole 3 hours. It was great. The crowd consisted mostly of friends from church. What a great bunch they are. It's so great to be in a church that supports the arts. They dodged bodies at computers to look at the art and asked great questions afterward. We sat around chatting, laughing and drinking coffee until the place closed at 8. It was fun.
I'm glad that this show is up because I can now focus my attention on new things. Onward and upward. Many of my friends believe, as I do, that greeting cards with my images on them would sell. One of my tasks will be to find a source for printing cards at an affordable rate. In the immediate future I have to finish 4 images to send to the alumni show at University of West Florida in Pensacola. I have been inquiring about other shows and hope that something materializes in the next couple of months. I have a show in January but I'd like to have something in between to keep my stuff out there. I am going to take each little success as it comes but continue to produce work regardless of what the future holds.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Max (our youngest cat) is at the vet again today getting yet another enema. He was just there 10 days ago. This sick cat thing is getting old. I can't tell you how much money we've spent over the last few months on cats. I'm sure it was enough to pay for another cruise to Alaska...probably 2 or 3 cruises. I hope we can straighten this little guy out. He eats way too much dry food and doesn't drink much water. The vet says we'll have to alter his diet. Well, think? I think we're also going to have to start giving him a daily dose of "help-you-poop" medicine. Having 2 sick cats is wearing us out physically and financially...especially Sarah since she's had them pretty much since birth. If you pray, give us a little shout out for some relief from cat ailments. We'd appreciate it.

SAM, I Am...Not Impressed

Last night, Sarah and I headed downtown to take advantage of the Seattle Art Museum's free admission night. Neither of us have been and, since we are both artists, we thought we should go.
We parked at Pacific Place and as we hit the street Roger Bart walked by. He's been in tons of stuff including Desperate Housewives, the Producers and the Stepford Wives. It seems he's in Young Frankenstein at the Paramount. I wish we could see it but it's just too expensive for us right now. After that quickie celebrity encounter we had a so-so dinner at P. F. Chang's. We usually love the place but it just wasn't up to snuff.
After dinner we headed to the museum. It was pretty crowded and very loud. They had some ethnic band playing in the corner of the lobby. Since the museum lobby is all hard surfaces, the music was bouncing around like crazy. It was way too loud. We went upstairs to see the art and there just wasn't that much to see. I loved seeing the aboriginal paintings and there were pieces I liked by Jasper Johns, Lee Krasner and Chuck Close but overall the collection isn't that impressive. I would have to rank Seattle as the worst museum in a big city I've ever seen. I guess I'm spoiled. I'm so used to going to a museum and having little eye orgasms when I see something amazing. That didn't happen here. Heck, I've seen better shows in Mobile, that's pretty pathetic.
We checked out the museum shop (yawn) and headed home. Next first thursday we're going to the Sci Fi Museum again. That place rocks!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

An Uncool Guy in the City of Cool

I've never been cool. I may have thought I was cool during certain parts of my life but it was just a self-delusion. I am just not a cool guy and I probably never will be. Most of the time I'm okay with that but sometimes I wonder why I am not cool and why I can't enjoy the things that would make me cool. Living in Seattle escalates this quite a bit. No matter where you go you are surrounded by cool people, the people I usually call hipsters. What do hipsters like that I don't? Well, here are some.

Coffee - As a rule, I don't like coffee. Every once in a while you might catch me with a mocha but it's usually more chocolate than coffee. Because I don't like coffee, I am missing out on one of the biggest hipster pasttimes of all time...hanging out in coffeeshops. Unless I'm meeting someone to do a bit of chatting, I don't usually frequent the places. I'd rather be at home.

Music - I do not get the kind of music that hipsters listen to. I know there are all kinds but I've never heard any of it that made me go, "Wow!" It's all just an assortment of droning, moaning, pseudo-electronica, emo, goth, add-your-own-cliche-here junk. And what is up with Johnny Cash. Why are they all in love with the Man in Black? Sure, I'll buy into the fact that Johnny was a pioneer of country music. But a rock and roller? No way. Somehow Mr. Cash has been elevated to a pedestal worshipped by hipsters. I don't get it. I like music that is well-crafted, well-played and utilizes more than 3 chords. Oh, and if it's not too much to ask, I'd like for the singer to be able to sing.

Art - I guess if there's a category where I sort of approach cool status, it might be art. My stuff's pretty edgy and it fits right in with all the young urban stuff that's out there. I suppose people are usually shocked to find out I'm a pretty conservative 45 year old guy. But there are some styles of art, mostly fads, that I don't get. There's a style that's prevalent now...I don't know what it's drives me crazy. It's just all this smooth, flourishy stuff jammed into corners and leaking mod versions of Art Nouveau-ness onto the page at random. If I find an example of it I'll post it. That's like eating jello. There's not much too it. I understand that the computer is an awesome tool for art. I use mine on occasion. But people, please learn the fundamentals before you start trouncing all over them. Okay, rant over.

Clothes - I don't even know how to describe hipster style to you. It's all over the place. I've never been in style. Give me a pair of jeans, some comfy shoes and an oversized buttondown shirt and I'm good to go. Thank God I have Sarah to help me dress now. I look better than I've looked in years. Not cool mind you, but better.

Intellectual/Philosophical/Theological Talk - Sorry. Can't run with the big dogs on this one either. I'm just not the navelgazing type. Sure, I have opinions but I usually express them with a big dose of self-deprecating humor. I just think we all take things way too seriously. My friend Jeff always tells me there's a lot of intellectual stuff going on in my art. I'll buy that but there's also a tongue planted firmly in cheek. I like to play the devil's advocate. I'll throw an issue out there and then retreat to a dark corner to watch the dogfight. My philosopy has always been "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." (Proverbs 17:28) So, I think I'll just remain stupid but silent.

Movies - I have tried...oh, how I've like some of the indie darling films that you hear about from time to time. For the most part I have hated every single one of them. Most I don't get. I can't remember the last one I saw but a great example of one I did see one time was Thumbsucker. Holy crap! What was that all about? Call me shallow. I like to see things get blown up, people flying, spaceships crashing. Uh oh. Wait a minute. I actually heard that it's cool to be a geek now. No, that can't be right. I don't think I can handle the pressure of being cool all of a sudden.

Well, that's all I can think of. Let me know if I've forgotten anything.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bloody Hell!

Warning: If you are squeamish, faint at the sight of blood or hate needles...turn back now!
What a day! I woke up at 6:15 to the meowing of Max. Translated, his mewling meant, "Feed me, daddy." I did. I was up so I got ready and went to work early. I gave the theatre a good cleaning and went to put the trash and recycling by the back door. As I'm nearing the scene shop, I feel something wet dripping down my leg. I look and there's a pretty heavy flow of blood coming out of my leg. Apparently some broken glass in the recycling punctured thru the bag and my leg. As my life flashed before my eyes I became aware of how bored I was. Oh, just kidding. So, I step into the scene shop so that I can bleed on a floor that doesn't matter. Eventually someone came by and I asked for help. They went and fetched my wife, we stopped the bleeding, patched it up and I went on my way. My shoes and socks had to be washed as they were saturated with my blood. I went barefoot for a while, did some other things, borrowed some shoes from the costume shop and left for home.
On my way home, I stopped by Insurrection Vintage/Fickle Fanny's, the business where some of my art is hanging to drop off some postcards about my upcoming art show. As I'm talking to Carrie I realize that I am bleeding again...and I do mean bleeding. As I created abstract blood art on the floor Carrie remained strong and helped me out alot. We decided that I needed stitches so I called Sarah, she came and got me and we headed to GroupHealth Urgent Care on Capitol Hill.
We were there about 2 hours. The sight of blood and needles don't bother me so I joked with the doc as she poked me about a hundred times to deaden the area around the wound. They cleaned the wound, sewed me back up (4 stitches - why do we say that like it's a status thing?), wrapped it and put this fishnet looking thing around it (I'm too sexy...) and we were on our way.
Sarah's schedule got messed up (I'm such an inconvenience) so we stopped by the dry cleaners to get the Joseph costumes before we headed back to the theatre. Once there, I grabbed some carpet cleaner and headed around to Insurrection Vintage to clean the stains. Carrie kidded that I was great because the crack whores never come back to clean up their mess. I then cleaned the theatre, Sarah returned to pick me up after taking our cat Mickey to have a blood test (he's doing chemo) and we came home. I framed some more pics for the show, she made supper, we watched Minority Report and now it's time for bed.
As I was sweeping the sidewalk of the theatre this morning I found a crumpled fortune on the sidewalk. Since I use them in my art, I picked it up. It said:

"There is a prospect of a thrilling time ahead for you."

The fortune cookie never lies.