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Tuesday, March 1, 2005
(12:50 pm)

My birthday come and gone, and yes! I had that big burger -- a Six Dollar Burger and Fries from Hardee's. Excellent! Now, back on my diet. Nobody baked me a cake. . . {pout!}

Quote of the Day: "The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. " -- James Allen

I just don't have the enthusiasm to keep up with this page like I used to, or like I really want. I wish I did, especially now that I have a lot more readers. Several things contribute to this lessening of creative fire: pain, discouragement, frustration, and the lack of gratitude from people for whom I do things gratis. See, here's how this works when I offer to do something on a service now, pay later basis. "We'll take care of you when we get to rolling in the high clover." As things progress, the people taking advantage (and I choose my phrases carefully) of the "free" service get more and more demanding, more and more picky. Eventually, I snap. I either tell them "no mas!" or I withdraw the service. If I say "no mas" they usually get pissed in return and when they do get to the point where they can pay for what they get, it goes to someone else and I'm standing there pissing in the wind with the other hand out -- empty. I will NEVER, EVER do anything for anyone again without payment up front and in full.

And no, I'm not going to mention at whom this ire is directed. I could be vindictive and sabotage what I've done or publicly berate the individual or individuals to whom I refer, but I won't.

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"Wherever That Might Be"

Wednesday, March 2, 2005
(11:45 am)

I'm trying real hard to do some art, but it ain't comin'. So, instead, I'm doing what I do when I can't seem to find any art inside me: I read books about art, about creativity. It usually doesn't help much, but it keeps me occupied and off the booze. . .


Thursday, March 3, 2005
(2:39 pm)

I've been working on collàges today. I keep a sheet of cover stock taped to my work surface when I'm doing things and it gets covered in different swipes of paint, chalk, and bits of glued detritus. I test things on it and eventually it gets too covered to be of much use as a test ground and protective drop cloth. That's when it becomes the support for a large scale, cluttered collàge. I have a series of postcard-sized collages going, too. I usually work on both at the same time, finishing several postcard-sized ones concurrently with the larger one. I used to enjoy this process greatly, but since we moved into this scale model of an actual house, I don't have room to both work and spread out the pieces to choose from for the collàges. I wonder if it will ever change. Probably, and undoubtedly for the worse.

Quote of the Day: "The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience. " -- Albert Camus

I've been reading about diabetes today. I'm not exactly happy about having it. If you get to pick your poison, diabetes is not the one to pick. Take something that comes on suddenly and finishes you off with the least amount of suffering, not something that erodes your entire being bit by bit. In that vein, let me present:

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"As The World Crumbles"
(Corrosion Series #10)

Speaking of ends, Tuesday night was the last episode of "NYPD Blue." Sipowicz ended the series as the boss of his beloved 15th precinct. The episode was nothing special, nothing more than any other episode of the show. It brought to mind the conclusion of T. S. Eliot's poem, "The Hollow Men:" "This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper." I expect to go out in a similar fashion. Things will go on as usual and then at the end of a day, I won't be there any longer. Stay tuned.


Sunday, March 6, 2005
(1:04 pm)

I don't think I want to work at the bar anymore. The equipment is not maintained and Friday night it was hard to find enough functional microphone stands, microphones and cables to do the job for a five-piece band. If it had been the Voodoo Katz or a mila group, it would have been an impossibility. Additionally, the area around the sound board was a total disaster. There was trash, old and broken equipment, filth, lumber and other debris. The sound board looked like it hadn't been as much as dusted since I was last there. . . in October! I don't want to work under such conditions, and I don't want to take on someone else's responsibility for taking care of their charge. If I owned the bar, I'd have some serious issues with how my property was being treated. Then there's another, more personal issue that I won't talk about. It's just no fun anymore, and with something that provides as few rewards as this gig did, when it stops being fun it's time to go.

Quote of the Day: "Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow... " -- Lawrence Clark Powell

In other news, my BS (Blood Sugar -- I know, I know -- the other diabetics of the world call it BG, or Blood Glucose, but I like BS much better) is pretty much under control. My 14 day average is 117. My seven day is 110. This morning it registered 97. I've had several readings under 100. I've lost 10 pounds since the first of the month. I hate this diet. They way it works, having to eat every three hours, I have to think about food nearly all the time, and I very rarely get to eat anything that's in the least satisfying. Frustrating, anxiety-creating, disillusioning. My feet are in good shape. It's my hands and eyes I'm having problems with. Being an artist, doesn't that just figure. God sure has a nasty sense of humor.

I bought four new handmade paper journal/sketchbooks at B. Dalton, since they were 40% off. The store in the mall is closing because the mall managers want to bring in a Books-A-Million store and they don't want the competition from a Barnes & Noble subsidiary. I got one of the journals Friday, and there were two more just like it I should have gotten because when I went back Saturday to get them, they were gone. I did get three more nice ones, but not as nice. I'm thinking about taking up papermaking so I can make my own. These are made in Nepal. I went on a book-buying spree. I replaced my Oxford American Dictionary, which had nearly disintegrated. I also got The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps which catalogs and prices every US stamp ever issued through 2004 so I can keep better track of my collection.

I spent $50 on books Friday and $80 yesterday, plus I ordered two books from Amazon.

After my trip to B. Dalton, I got pulled in by tractor beam to Waldenbooks. There, I got Gray's Anatomy, which I've been wanting for ages. I'll copy the drawings to put in collàges and the like. I also got the little Taschen book (of which I have about 10) on Dali. I got the big Taschen book on CÚzanne, a huge book on the techniques of great artist from Giotto to the present day, a box with a book on Chinese chops plus 8 chops and an ink pad.

I got the last two books in the second Griffin & Sabine trilogy (I now have all six!) at Taylor Books (local independent) (who knew they had a tractor beam as well??). The books I ordered were the new one by Nick Bantock (author of the Griffin & Sabine books), Urgent, Second Class, which is an instructional book on his collàge techniques and The Artful Dodger, which is about his artwork. I should have gotten them from Amazon. I'd have saved about $5.50 (discounting shipping) on each one. Taylor Books had The Artful Dodger, but naturally wanted list price, which was $39.95 -- a price I wasn't ready to cough up. Amazon had it for $28.20 plus postage. I got both books from them for $43.75, or just a dollar and 35 cents more than I'd have paid for just the one at Taylor Books. I haven't been to the Waldenbooks in Kanawha Mall or Mooks-A-Billion yet, but the day's young. . .

I always feel good when I buy books. I'm going to finish the Dan Brown book I'm working on now and then re-read the four Griffin & Sabine books I have as preparation for the final two in the series. I'll probably re-read Bantock's The Museum at Purgatory too, and by then I'm sure I'll have the other two. There are several others I need to fill in my Bantock collection, and I'll probably pick them up along the way, if I can find a steady gig to replace the paltry sum I was hauling down at the Glass.

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"Yin and Yang"
(Corrosion Series #11)

I have to go to the grocery store today sometime. I'm considering a shower, too. I'd probably better get going. Tonight's the season premiere of "Deadwood" on HBO. It comes on at nine. Can't miss that! I have art in mind to do as well, so I really, really need to roll.


Wednesday, March 9, 2005
(4:01 pm)

Apparently the way to get more hits on my website is to not write anything. I was averaging a little over 600 per day. I haven't written anything since Sunday and the average went up to well over 800 per day. Amazing!

Quote of the Day: "It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable. " -- Moliere. French actor and playwright (1622-1673)

I got my two Nick Bantock books from Amazon. I also picked up an instructional book on collàge and some books to read. My reading queue is quite long now. I finished reading Griffin & Sabine for the umpth time. I'll wend my way through the rest of them again and read the final two in the second trilogy for the first time. I love these books.

I'm still all out of whack. My blood sugar is doing better and my vision is closer again to what it was (I rather miss being able to drive and watch television without wearing glasses), but I still feel "odd." I wonder if I'll ever get over it.


Friday, March 11, 2005
(11:10 am)

I've been going through my collàges. The biggest part of them are small, either 3 X 5, 4 X 6 or something similar. A lot of them are actually visual poems. I sometimes wonder what the distinction is, especially after viewing the online displays of visual poetry shows. The reason I'm going through my collàges is that during the month of April I'm going to have a display of my collàge work in the display window at Pro-Art. I need to get a lot of things in mats between now and then. It's not that far away either!

Speaking of Pro-Art, I was there yesterday and saw, to my delight, something I haven't seen in ages -- Aquabee papers. I used to buy those all the time. My personal standard for drawing paper was Aquabee CoMo. I didn't see that anywhere, but there were all sorts of pads and even a couple rolls, one of 160 pound drawing stock, the other 160 pound watercolor paper. Neat! I saw something else that intrigued me as well -- Ticonderoga colored pencils. Just from a quick look and sketch, they seem much better than Prismacolor. They're only $42.00 or so for a 48 color set. I'll be ordering a set of these soon, I imagine. I'll let you know more about them then.

Quote of the Day: "Of all forms of tyranny, the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy. " -- John Pierpont Morgan

Well, it's off to the shower (I've been cleaning all morning) and then to work cutting mats for what I already have selected, then organization of my materials so I can finish the collàge on my table and start a new one. I still haven't started either of my new Nick Bantock books or the other new book on collàge techniques I bought. So much to do, so little thyme.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005
(11:37 am)

Okay, so I took the weekend off. . . Well, actually when I don't write something here it usually indicates that I'm busier than usual instead of the other way around. I've been busy preparing for the public display of my mental illness (i.e., collàge show in the window at Pro-Art during the month of April). Cutting mats and mounts without adequate space, a large enough table, and proper cutting tools is a pain in the. . .well, you know what it's a pain in.

Quote of the Day: "May you live all the days of your life. " -- Jonathan Swift

I've also been working on a couple of collàges, too, and reading about making collàges. I've been working my way through Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine series of books in preparation for reading his The Artful Dodger. He does such a nice job. I really want to get all his books. I think I have the better part of them now.

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"His Eminence"

That's what things looked like yesterday morning around here. By noon, in most places you couldn't tell it had snowed at all. The streets and sidewalks were clear and dry. The ground was wet, but there was no evidence of white fluffiness anywhere to be found.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005
(12:50 pm)

I had a nice long chat with my pal, Arthur, yesterday asa he painted on a commission portrait. We talked about technique, art history, and various other aspects of the artist's life. I enjoy conversations like that. I have too few of them anymore.

Quote of the Day: "Nothing is as irritating as the fellow who chats pleasantly while he's overcharging you. " -- Kin Hubbard

I'm on the last of the six Griffin & Sabine books. I'm reading it at a slower pace. I guess I don't want it to be over. To be quite honest, the books aren't really well written, but that's part of their charm. It's very much like four intelligent people writing letters to each other. It's a little too much on the metaphysical side for my tastes generally, but I do so love the illustrations.

I've been trying to organize my collage materials (which have accumulated to a ridiculous point!), but it's difficult for me since I've lost two table spaces to sort things on since we moved to this house. I'm slowly getting some of it in situ. It's tough, though. I was considering getting a papermaking kit. That's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but the way things are right now, I wouldn't have the room to do anything with it if I had it, so on the shelf in the store it will stay.


Thursday, March 17, 2005
(3:30 pm)

I had to go to Wal-Mart today. I was looking for some of the Life Choice low carb meals made by Healthy Choice, but they've apparently stopped making them and have gone to a South Beach Diet brand instead. Well, they ain't the same. I loved the Beef Pot Roast one in the previous line. Now they have things like "Mediterranean Style Chicken Medallions with Couscous.". Couscous? I'm sorry. I really don't like couscous or hummus or any of the Greek/Middle Eastern cuisine. What about those of us who want something that tastes like the food we grew up with -- pot roast, chicken, Salisbury steak, meatloaf? I'm not one to relish pecans in my green beans. Want to bet the beans come out crunchy and tasting strong and raw? I don't want no Yuppie diet. Damn these food companies. They go for the trendy and never allow for those who don't want the trend. Just like everyone else, I guess.

Quote of the Day: "Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think. " -- Horace

Oh course I'm drinking Irish breakfast tea today and I'm wearing a green shirt and pants. I was going to just wear green underware and charge people a quarter to see it.

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"What Years of Faithful Service Does"

It's a beautiful day. Since I had to go to Wal-Mart anyway, and Michael's is on the way, I stopped in and used my 40% off any one regular priced item coupon to get the papermaking kit. I know, I said I wasn't going to, but I couldn't help myself. Results to be published at a later date.


Friday, March 18, 2005
(10:43 am)

I'm in dire need. I need a chair that will work with both my computer desk and my drawing table. So far I've not been able to find one that fits the bill. The height of the chair for my computer desk should be 18-19 inches. The height for the drawing table optimally should be 24 inches or higher, preferably higher. If anyone can find an office type chair (with casters) that fits this description, please let me know. Even better, if you have one to give away. . .

Today's quote is from one of my favorite authors:

Quote of the Day: "Such is human psychology that if we don't express our joy, we soon cease to feel it. " -- Lin Yutang

Just got a call from The Center for Pain Relief and they need me to have X-rays done so my HMO will authorize an MRI of my back and neck. What this has to do with pain in all my joints, I have no idea, but for the time being I'll humor them.


Sunday, March 20, 2005
(1:44 pm)

I've been pondering my own insignificance in the whole scheme of things. The Earth is so insignificant in itself as to be an electron spinning around the nucleus of an atom that is part of a molecule of pus in a galaxy that is a pimple on the ass of the universe. And that would make each of us on this spinning charged particle, a mere quark, totally unobservable, essential, but anonymous and insignificant in the grand design. If there is a God, he proabably would be amazed to find that we exist.

Quote of the Day: "Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives. " -- Oscar Wilde

Considering my insignificance and basic worthlessness in comparison to the whole, I wonder if it's possible for me to change from a down quark to a colored quark or a strange quark, or even an up, top, bottom, or charmed. Any of those sound preferable to the apparent mode I exist in right now.

Coming April 1 -- a display of about 20-odd of my collàges in the window at Pro-Art on Summers Street. Catch it if you can. Buy one if you can afford it and like what you see. The more I look at my art, the less I like it. Please! Get it out of my sight.


Thursday, March 24, 2005
(10:38 am)

Okay, I suppose I'd better say something lest you think I died, or perhaps gotten cynical and decided to not write anything for a week to see if it drove the site hit count upward (which it does not seem to have done, although the Saturday, March 19 total was way above normal, nearly 2,000 whereas the average is just a little over 700 -- who knows?). Neither is the case, dear friends. I've just not felt like writing.

Tuesday I had foot surgery to prevent my chronic ingrown tonails from recurring now that I have diabetes. Later, probably sometime in April, I'll have the other great toe (right) done as well. Loads of fun.

Quote of the Day: "Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. " -- Oscar Wilde

I've also been trying to sort and organize all my collàge materials. It's hopeless. I just don't have the room to allow me to spread things out enough to categorize and arrange things. I guess I'll still have to go with the "grab bag" method. . .


Sunday, March 27, 2005
(11:26 am)

Cat piss glows under a black light.


Monday, March 28, 2005
(11:02 am)

It's always been amazing to me how academics and art critics impute such layers of meaning into the works of artists. I've overheard people who are "in the know" about art matters making comments on my work, ascribing meaning and intention which, quite frankly, just aren't there. As Clem Greenburg said in the film, Pollock, "Paint is paint. Surface is surface. That's all it should be." In a lot of respects, I have to agree with that totally. I doubt very much in most cases if the meaning of a painting goes much deeper than the canvas, panel, or paper on which it rests. Of course there is the entire history of the artist to that point involved in making a work of art and the work itself is merely a snapshot of the "artistic process," but all-in-all the work of art is just a moment in time, frozen for us to look at and contemplate. All the meaning and gravity of a piece lies within the viewer. The artist is just holding up a Rorshach blot to our eyes, allowing us to see whatever we want to see.

Quote of the Day: "Society constantly expends its efforts to correct effects instead of causes, which is one reason why the development of human consciousness proceeds so slowly. " -- David R. Hawkins, MD., Ph.D., author

Another reason we proceed so slowly is that we are more interested in pointing the finger than pointing the way. Hey, that sounds quotable to me! Hmm. . .

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"Green Grass, Clear Sidewalks"

I've been doing some art the past couple of days, actually using paint and brushes. I'm finding that a lot of the paints and mediums I have are thickened past the point of usefulness. It goes to show, if you're going to be a painter, paint! Don't let your materials degrade and become money thrown into the dust bin.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005
(3:29 pm)

I paid a visit to yet another thrift store today. I found some old books and wallpaper samples that may be of use in collàge work. I also picked up a coffee cup, a small vase, and a glass bottle of some sort. I think I go to thrift stores when I don't want to face my art. I was letting one collàge dry before adding the next step, but really, I had other things I could have done in the meantime. Everything seems so pointless to me right now.

Quote of the Day: "If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. " -- Gotama Siddartha (Lord Buddha)

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"Lime-A-Meez Twins"

Now I'll go wash my new glass and ceramic ware to avoid doing art. . .


Wednesday, March 30, 2005
(7:21 pm)

It was 80 degrees here today. It's still 75. I'd predicted 82, but the closest place with that temperature was Huntington. I'll bet it was 82 on this side of the mountain, even if it wasn't at the airport.

Quote of the Day: "Fear not for the future, weep not for the past. " -- Percy Bysshe Shelley

I've been working from the Collàge Workshop book. There's not a lot in there that I didn't already know how to do, but some of the things I'd not considered applying to collàges. Neat!

Not feeling too great today. I went out to Big Lots! earlier to get a couple things I needed to make life easier. I laid down around four fifteen, hoping to get some rest. Well, when the phone wasn't ringing and the generator at the house down the street that they're working on wasn't running, and the cat wasn't slurping, cleaning herself, some other noise or irritation kept me from dozing off. Well, at least I had my leg up for a while. Speaking of legs, I've been wrapping my ankle like it was sprained the past couple days, using Coban and sports tape. It really helps when I'm walking, but when I'm sitting still, it throbs and I'm not sure I'm not really doing it harm in the long run. I wish my lawyer would get on the ball and get the insurance company to come up with the big bucks so I could have the surgery and physical therapy I need done. Buying a couple things to assuage my pain would be nice, too, not to mention paying off some the debt already incurred because of the injury and its aftermath.


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