My Diary
My Diary

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May 1, 1999     (Saturday)

It's been a beautiful day, highs in the mid-70's, a light breeze, that rare cloudless sky. The church next door had a hot dog/chicken/fish sale so I got three dogs for lunch. They were good and were a fine reward for a morning's yard work.

I wonder when HTML will get around to supporting vector graphics. I have some things I created in Corel Draw I'd like to put up on my pages.

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost 4-3 to New Jersey last night. The Devils now lead the series 3-2. If the Pens falter tomorrow, it's all over but the crying.

Dada, dada, dada dada ding ding ding

This is an electronic recreation of a dada document (poem?) I did in 1996.

May 2, 1999     (Sunday)

My Penguins beat New Jersey in overtime 3 to 2. Jaromir Jagr scored both the goal that tied the game to send it into overtime, and the winning goal in the overtime period. Yes! Game seven will be Tuesday in New Jersey. I sure hope my guys can pull it off. Go Pens!

Another beautiful day here today. Mostly I stayed inside and played around with my printer and Corel Draw. Just another lazy Sunday


May 3, 1999     (Monday)

Alongside cream we outrun to discuss but a possemen halls whenever we dare breathe with my segregating berth, nor it is doggedly expects because you have not gradually had a millennium to domineering him continentally than your discriminating pain. (See April 1999 Archives for explanation of this)

May 4, 1999     (Tuesday)

Crocuses and Forsythia (Jonquil) are too soon gone. I love the brilliant colors, the promise and braggadocio. There are some small white flowers in the front yard, five petals and delicate looking, but I know better -- they're weeds. They're sturdy and will be around long after the tulips and daffodils fade.

A friend I never met died on April 28. His name was Jerry Baley. He published a newsletter of mostly quotes and some humor and personal glimpses for 20 years. He managed to put out 260 issues. Not too, shabby, Jerry B. I only subscribed to "The Prairie Rambler" for a little over two years, but I will always cherish my issues. I contributed to a couple of those issues and engaged in an ongoing correspondence with Jerry since I first found out about the newsletter. Jerry was an older gentleman, but his mind was spry and open. I sometimes pushed his limits of understanding with the things I mailed him, but he made a supreme effort to understand, and even when he failed that, he still accepted and encouraged. Rest in Peace, Friend I never met.

Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!   Go Pens!  

My Penguins won game seven. They go on to play the Toronto Maple Leafs next. The three top teams in the eastern division of the NHL have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Amazing! Go Pens!

Cinco de Mayo, 1999     (Wednesday)

You know, I kind of feel sorry for the New Jersey Devils. They are the Rodney Dangerfields of the NHL. They have excellent players. They won the eastern conference and were ranked Number 1 in the East, Number 3 in the league, yet they were eliminated by the 8th ranked eastern conference team in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Not only that, but this is the third year they've been beaten by lower seeded teams in the first round. Their fan base is iffy, at best, too. The residents of the northern parts of NJ are either Rangers or Islanders fans. The southern regions often breed die-hard Flyers fans. In fact, when I was in college, surrounded by New Jerseyites on every side, there were Flyers and Rangers fans galore, but not one Devils fan. It's a shame really.

May 6, 1999     (Thursday)

Saw a cloud against the sunset horizon this evening that looked for the world like a gigantic rubber chicken. . .

Worked on the big yellow panel out back. I glued tissue paper and one coffee-stained commercial paper towel on it. Tomorrow (if it doesn't rain), I'll slap some paint on that puppy! I'm having trouble getting adequately motivated to paint. I don't know if it's depression or side effects of medicine or what. I just know I don't have the energy or enthusiasm I feel I should have.

Tally ho!
John M. Bennett, 1998

May 7, 1999     (Friday)

No Entry Today

May 8, 1999     (Saturday)

No Entry Today

May 9, 1999     (Sunday)

I've not been feeling well lately. Working a few hours each day and reading and sleeping a lot. I have to remember to take the phone out back with me when I'm working out there so I don't miss so many calls.

Penguins lost to Toronto tonight 4 to 2. By all rights it should have been at worst 3 to 2 or perhaps tied at 3 and an outcome in overtime that no one could guess. The officials missed a blatant flattening of one of the Penguins, and the Pens, anticipating the call, slowed down and Bang! a goal. I'm sure Kevin Constantine will have plenty to say about this one. Game three on Tuesday.

Jesus saves. Jagr gets the rebound. He shoots! He scores!

May 10, 1999     (Monday)

What a glorious day so far. I woke up with a minimum of aches and pains. I cooked four nice strips of bacon, sliced two new potatoes that had already been boiled and fried them, two eggs over easy, toast, juice, jelly, and coffee. The kitchen door was open as I ate so I could watch the play of the light on the patio pavement. Birds were scouring the lot across the alley for their morning repast. The traffic is light, even for a Monday. It was a peaceful and relaxing start to the week.

My painting is coming along rather nicely. I will have problems with mounting it when it's done. I'm painting on the Masonite backing side of a piece of tile board. With all the heat and water stresses I've put it under, it's starting to warp. I'll have to glue it to something more rigid and flatten it out. I'd have been better off to start with a piece of artist grade Masonite in the first place. That'll teach me to be poor!

Madeline Albright said, "Being Secretary of State, I understand what it's like to lose innocent diplomats. . ." Isn't that an oxymoron?

May 11, 1999     (Tuesday)

President Clinton is off on another economic initiative. In his speech, he said we are going forward into the 21st century, hand and hand, leaving no one behind. He also made mention that we are to make sure that all "responsible" people need to be assured of sharing in the rising economic tide. What about the irresponsible ones? What about the musicians, the artists, the ones who have absolutely no talent for things financial? What about the ones of us who were ruined financially during the Reagan administration and haven't been allowed to recover yet? What about the mentally ill, the dull normals who have a problem with authority? What gives a god damn lawyer the right to determine who can participate in society? All the empowerment zones and investment schemes that the politicos come up with only go toward creating a more monolithic economy, where what we need is a diverse, plastic economy, one where everyone has the opportunity to participate, whether Bill Clinton or anyone else deems them "responsible" or not. We are headed inexoribly toward a two-tiered society à là "Blade Runner". Well, I'm tired of being dismissed and looked down on. I might be relegated to the "insignificant" category, but I'll not go quietly!

May 12, 1999     (Wednesday)

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat Toronto last night 4 to 3 to take a 2-1 lead in the semi-finals of the Eastern conference in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Pens are looking good. Jagr showed no sign of his recent groin injury and Barrasso's goal tending was nearly supernatural. The rest of the team looked a little lackadaisical during the first half of the game, but the spark was struck in the latter portion of the game. The game was scoreless until more than 8 minutes had passed in the second period, then within five minutes five goals had been scored, plus one disallowed. The action was fast, hard, and fun to watch.

Gary Betteman, Commissioner of the NHL did an interview with Stan Savaran before the game. He was in Pittsburgh to try to work with the team and the court to resolve the Penguins' fate. For the second time in 25 years the Pittsburgh hockey franchise is in bankruptcy. Mario Lemieux has a plan to rescue the Pens and to keep them in Pittsburgh. If that falls through, someone else has offered $85 Million to purchase the franchise and move it to another city. I hope this doesn't happen. I can't imagine life without NHL Hockey in Pittsburgh.

It seems, from what I can pick up from television, that the major problem with the franchise's finances is the lease on the Civic Arena. The Pens Igloo is the oldest venue in the league now, and doesn't have the seating capacity or other amenities to make it profitable for the team.

May 13, 1999     (Thursday)

The clouds are back. I'm not sure if it's going to rain, but the sky is 20% gray from horizon to horizon.

I've been thinking about money (since I don't have any), capitalism, and capitalists a lot lately. I'll bet Steve Case and Bill Gates were those kids who owned the ball and you either had to play by their rules or they'd take the ball and go home. Ethical behavior and societal rules notwithstanding, the person who "owns" the toy determines how it gets played with. By twisting the concepts of private property, the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are subverted, nay, even eliminated simply because of the two-year-old tantrum, "'Cause it's MINE!"

May 14, 1999     (Friday)

A thoroughly awful day all around. I accomplished absolutely nothing.

The Pens lost game four last night. The series is tied at 2-2. The Buffalo Sabres won game four against the Boston Bruins. They are the only team in the semi-finals to have an edge (3-1). Both the Dallas-St. Louis and the Detroit-Colorado series are tied at 2-2. What a great playoff season!

May 15, 1999     (Saturday)

I sometimes wonder why I'm doing this. I can't say for sure whether anyone besides me has ever seen these pages (actually I know one newspaper editor who's at least seen the page). Since I started keeping this online journal over a month ago, not one person has made any comment about it. Beating my head against a wall? Mental wanking? Who knows? Certainly not me.

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Penguins tonight by a score of 4 to 1. They now lead the series 3-2. Pittsburgh has to win the next two games to take the series. Next game is back at the Igloo in Pittsburgh. Go Pens!

Another beautiful day and I managed to do exactly nothing. Well, that's not exactly true either. I finally got a new mouse that seems like it's going to help with my Carpal Tunnel. I got the Microsoft Wheel Mouse. The scrolling wheel will help a lot, given the way I use the mouse. I did a little prep work for some collages and things, too. I'm way behind on my correspondence, but I did manage to mail out the mail-art project book I started last week. Maybe I'll see it come around again in a couple years. I need to send something to John M. Bennett.

Click me gently, it's my first time
For free stickers and information, send SASE (the more postage, the more stickers) to:

P.O. Box 911
Stanwood, WA  98292

May 16, 1999     (Sunday)

Speaking of aliens. . .

Want to help search the skies for extraterrestrial intelligence? Well, the Planetary Society is starting a new project tomorrow (5/17/99) called SETI@Home. You can download the program and let your screen saver search for ET (Windows, UNIX, and MAC versions available). Get started today! Download from the Planetary Society's web site or the UC Berkeley site.

May 17, 1999     (Monday)

A number of things recently have caused me to consider the nature of art. One of the events involved a dear friend of mine who lives in Northern California. She took a class in sculpture at a local community college, and created the following sculpture as her final project:

The Widow
Copyright © 1999 Patricia Wallace Jones

The community college placed all the students' art in a kind of sculpture garden. Yesterday, Pat's husband, Richard, stopped by to water the flowers. Vandals had ravished it.

". . . it looks like the scene of a gruesome murder.. her head is severed.. face up lying under the table.. the window is destroyed..a hand with a silver wedding ring is lying out in the field.. the wine bottle, china and silverware scattered all around..chairs turned over.. it is so oddly violent..all in white like that.. with those purple flowers still blooming... nothing.. none of the other student work was hurt.. makes you wonder why someone would attack the only figurative piece.. it is so strange to feel so violated over a stack of plaster.. "  (Pat Jones)

The sculpture is still art, even though it no longer exists as a whole. The pieces have become a new manifestation of art. Art seems to be a continuity, rather than a product or even a process. I think the vandals are part of the motivating force of art just as Pat is with her conception and execution of the orignial piece. Art is always a reaction to something. Art is what connects us.

Another friend came across this somewhere and sent it to me. I've obliterated the phone numbers and the agent's last name, and distorted her face, but the rest of the ad is just like it ran in the publication. I couldn't pass this one up. . .

All it needs now is a Hot Tub!

My Penguins lost game six, 4 to 3 in overtime. They are out of the playoffs now. I'm depressed. It was a former Penguin, Gary Valk, who scored the winning goal. It was a hard fought game all the way. Toronto goes on to play either Boston or Buffalo now for the Conference championship. Dallas will play either Colorado or Detroit for the Western Conference championship. My bet is that Buffalo will beat Toronto and will lose to Colorado in the Cup Finals.

May 18, 1999     (Tuesday)

Computer problems lately, culminating in a total meltdown tonight. I'm so frustrated and irritated that I don't feel like writing anything. I think this whole computer industry, especially the operating system end of things is wrong in their approach to things. I have a pretty fair knowledge of computers, having worked with them since. . . well, a long time, anyway. It's a pathetic thing when an operating system is sold without adequate documentation. I'll just shut up now before I slander Microsoft, Apple, and 15 other major corporations.

A little work on a pass around collage book tonight, burning off the frustration. Some neat stuff in there.

Here's a little drawing I did with Prismacolor pencils. It's a full size sheet of bond drawing paper, so I had to scan it in parts and try to electronically glue it together. As you can see, it didn't work too well. . .

Life is so puzzling.  A conundrum.  I Jigged when I should have Jagged. . .

Anyone got a digital camera?

May 19, 1999     (Wednesday)

More computer problems today, maybe related to the ones I've been having of late, maybe not. It's starting to look like a new hard drive may be necessary. . . Damn!

May 20, 1999     (Thursday)

The computer problems continue. It's definitely a hard drive/lack of memory thing. Life's a bitch, then you die.

I've had this little program for some time now called Yeah Write. It seemed to be a neat little word working program; a nice editor that had some database capability, preformatted letter, memo, address, envelope, diary, journal and such. I decided this week to spring for the $24.00 and get the registered version. I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but it's a well-done piece of work. It will even do your faxes and e-mail. It allows for multiple drawers, each with password protection. This, in conjunction with my usual text editor (Super Note Tab), makes a powerful working pair.

May 21, 1999     (Friday)

Today was at once ordinary and special. I went downtown (that's Dan Tan in Pittsburgh). I ran into some old friends and I really enjoyed talking to them. I got a new portfolio and some acrylic colors. I've been looking at oil sticks and oil pastels. I think I can do some interesting things with them.

I have a show of sorts coming up. I have the front window at Pro-Art for the month of June. I think I want to do it like an installation. I'll include at least one of my pyramids, my vase with sticks, my white vase with white bamboo branches, and my wig head alien. I'll also do some background pieces and come up with some unifying elements. I want to put a few prismacolor pieces in the show, and some acrylics and some collage. It should catch a little attention. . .

May 22, 1999     (Saturday)

I worked on getting the ancillary materials for my show together today. I made most of the signage. I designed the front of the brochure and picked out the pieces I want to put in the show. I made the spine label for my new portfolio, too, and started filling it. I guess you'd have to classify this as an administrative day.

Blue Orb

May 23, 1999     (Sunday)

Finished up the brochure for my show today, did a couple more signs and started filling the pages of my portfolio. Things are coming right along. I hope I can manage a sale or three from this show. I sure could use the money, and the ego boost.

The Sumac trees around here (biggest I've ever seen) are in full bloom, and outside stinks! The pollen is hell on my allergies.

Some days the words come, some days they remain black shapes on a white piece of paper and the meaning is in the pattern and the juxtaposition of the shapes to one another.  Today is one of those days.

May 24, 1999     (Monday)

Leonard Pitts, Jr. is a columnist for the Mami Herald (Home of Dave Berry). He is one of my favorite columnists. Leonard started out as a music critic, and has gone on to comment on society in general. I've followed with great interest his recent attempts to deal with the school shootings in Colorado and Gerogia. Mr. Pitts is a very thoughtful and insightful man. After several columns dealing with children killing their classmates, he finally has, in my not so humble opinion, hit the nail on the head with this column. (page has expired)

I was digging through some old sketch books and I found this cartoon thingie.

May 25 1999     (Tuesday)

More bad sectors popping up on my hard drive. My scanner needs a new bulb. My printer is low on every kind of ink cartridge there is, except black, and it doesn't work right. The color calibration between my scanner, monitor, and printer is way off. Other than that, things are just ducky </sarcasm>.

I assembled my Mail Art display today. I also mounted a couple of drawings and ordered mats for them. I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to put name tags and prices on my paintings and such for this show, or whether I want to make anyone interested call me first.

Some guy called today wanting me to do some callligraphy for him. He seems to want to pay nothing and get a fancy job on parchament. Why is it that the people who can most easily afford something are the ones who are least willing to pay a fair price for it, while those who can't afford it readily understand and appreciate the value of the thing?

The temperature last night went down into the upper 40's. It was much cooler all day than it has been. The temperature is plummeting again tonight. Ah! Spring!

May 26, 1999     (Wednesday)

Wiley Miller, of the Washington Post (and United Features Syndicate) ran a comic strip (Non Sequitur) this morning that really hit home.

This comic strip is used without permission.  I read the information on the Washington Post Writers Group (WPWG) web page about the use of their material, and the legalese was quite convoluted, and it looks very much like it could cost me anywhere from $35.00 to several hundred dollars to get proper permission to use this cartoon to illustrate my point.  I think this is unreasonable since I am putting it to no commercial purpose, and I have provided links to the WPWG web page.  Should someone wish to tell on me, and should the WPWG or Wiley Miller wish me to do so, I will remove the strip from my page and substitute a description of the cartoon in its place. Wiley Miller is an astute observer of the human condition and a very good cartoonist, IMHO
In case you can't read it, the sign pinned to the artist's body reads: "Goodbye Cruel Art World."

I've often said, "It figures I'd pick an occupation where the best possible career move I could make is to die." I have several hundredweight of art stacked in my bedroom and under the cabinet in my studio corner of the living room, plus a display cabinet in the computer area and dozens of paintings and accent pieces scattered throughout my house. I have gotten frustrated at times and have thrown great quantities of my finished pieces out in the trash. I've sold a few, given away far more. My output, at various times, is prodigous. Still, I struggle with the basic necessities of life, knowing that my heirs will probably live quite well from the proceeds my art will garner on my demise. <sarcasm TYPE= "venomous"> Good old market economy! </sarcasm>

I'm not feeling too well today. I suspect the weather has a lot to do with it. My joints all ache and I feel rather "blah."

Both Series in the Stanely Cup Conference finals are tied at 1-1. Tonight and tomorrow night, edges will be gained. I'm really pulling for both Colorado and Buffalo now that my Pens are out of contention.

Speaking of the Penquins, Last night I watched Sudden Death, with Jean-Claude Van Damage. Mike Lange and Paul Steigerwald, the game announcers for the Pens, were featured quite prominantly. The whole movie takes place inside and outside of the Civic Arena (the Igloo) in Pittsburgh. It was a pretty good movie, although Powers Booth comes across as a comic book villian. He makes a much better good guy. My favorite part of the movie was when J-C V D got into a major fight with Iceburgh, the Pens mascot. Icey almost kicked his ass.

Still no word that I've heard on the fate of the Penguins. I hope they manage to work things out and can keep the franchise in Pittsburgh. I mean, really, how does the Portland Penguins sound? Yuuck! Why, Pittsburgh without the Pens would be like New York without the Rangers, Philly without the Flyers, Quebec without the Nordiques. . . Ummmm. . . oops.

The moving of teams in the NHL over the past decade has been somewhat disconcerting. The players are commanding more money, so the markets where the teams are located have to be bigger, the amenities at the arenas for the teams to exploit to make money have to be better, and the prices for tickets have to be higher. Canada has lost the Nordiques to Colorado (The Avalanche), and The Winnepeg Jets to Nashville (The Predators). The teams are migrating southward. The Minnesota North Stars dropped the North from their name and relocated to Dallas. There are new teams in Miami (Florida Panthers) and Tampa Bay. Phoenix, in the middle of a freaking dessert, now has a former Canadian team. The newest addition to the NHL is in North Carolina, not North Dakota. The "business of America is business" attitude that prevails in this country turns everything into an impersonal, mobile commodity, even sports. Just wait for the hue and cry when Toronto or Montreal can no longer compete financially for the hockey teams that are far more than a quantifiable source of revenue to them.

Have you heard? The new owner of the Washington Redskins may change the name of RFK stadium?

I don't recall right now who said it, but it rings so true, "In any [advanced] society, money is sacred. In a democracy, it's the only thing that is."  and me, an atheist. . .

The Dallas Stars spanked! the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 in game three of the Western Championship Series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Colorado has the two most exciting rookies this year since Jaromir Jagr in Drury and Hejduk. They both play like they have 5 or 6 years under their belts. It looks more and more like a Dallas-Toronto Cup series. My money's on Dallas if that's the case.

May 27, 1999     (Thursday)

Worked most of the day with my art inventory, cleaning, sorting, etc. I've about got my show conceptualized. I'll be working a little bit tomorrow on the design and logistics. I'll be happy to get this started.

Buffalo beat Toronto tonight 4-2. They lead their series 2-1 now.

I'm tired. I'll write more tomorrow.

May 28, 1999     (Friday)

On the run all day today. Went downtown and worked on getting the show together. Picked up mats, matted pieces, measured, took notes, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's looking okay, but all the activity is wearing me out. I'll be glad when it gets started. I think it will be Tuesday, June first. Damn! June already?

It's late. I just finished watching the Colorado-Dallas game. Holy smoke! What a game! The rookie I mentioned previously, Drury, scored the winning goal with 30 seconds exactly! to go in overtime. This was a hard fought, fast, brutal game. I loved it! The Buffalo-Toronto game tomorrow promises to be a humdinger as well.

May 29, 1999     (Saturday)

I installed my paintings and things in the window today, a whole three days early. I'm pretty satisfied with it. I crammed a lot of material into the window. Now I need to call or e-mail some critics, etc. to see if they want to check out the installation. I have over 40 pieces in that little window, plus my nameplates and my mail art display. I'll go downtown tomorrow and take some snapshots of it.

Speaking of snapshots. . . Here's the "after" shots of Pat's sculpture, the one I posted a picture of 12 days ago (May 17):

crack, bang, pow, crumble, shear, thud, shatter, splinter
Copyright 1999 Pat Wallace Jones & unknown vandals

May 30, 1999     (Sunday)

Computer problems again! The machine crashed on me around midnight last night. When I tried to reboot, it ran scan disk and kept finding crosslinks (bad, bad, bad thing). It took until about 2 hours ago to finish (It's 10:00 pm now). It's rather ironic -- my fortune cookie from dinner last night said, "The wheel of good fortune is finally turning in your direction!" Yeah, right!

I cleaned up my piling system today. I think things are categorized and grouped together now in such a manner that I can actually find something now. Now all I need to do is rearrange things so that I can have some space to work.

May 31, 1999     (Monday)

Made postcards today. Took it easy. It's a holiday after all.

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