Thursday, May 2, 2002
Okay, I know, I know. I promised to put up pictures of the new house and things yesterday. Well, things happen. I just now got around to scanning the latest two rolls of film. I don't have a really good shot of the house, and I'm not really likely to get one with all the power, phone, and cable lines dangling all over the place around here. I will try to put together a photo essay of this block and maybe some of the surrounding area. I already have a few shots. I'll be sure to get some documentary shots on this current roll, as well as the artistic attempts.
Speaking of artistic attempts. . .
Friday, May 3, 2002
I'm actually starting to see some progress! I wish there was two of me, and one of them was about 25 years old.
Quote of the Day: "I'd rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not." -- Lucille Ball
Sunday, May 5, 2002
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Lots of things going through my head. I'm pissed off at the people who previously lived here. They were rather neglectful of the property. The brush heap in the back yard is several days' work to eliminate. I put out 20-some yard waste bags for the city to pick up tomorrow. True, about 8 of them were from the front of the house, but the other 12 or so were from the Virginia creeper removal on the back fence, trimming the holly tree, and preliminary work on the brush heap. The Virginia creeper is all over the place. It underlies the back lawn like a net. It's going to be hard to eradicate. I'll keep after it, though. I'm going to sow some grass seed out back in hopes of choking out the clover and some of the violets. I got a bag of Scott's Patchmaster to try to fill in the holes in the lawn. There are quite a few. It's pretty neat stuff: seed, fertilizer and mulch in one.
I know. . . I'm rambling.
Here's a picture of the house. This was taken on April 8th.
Tuesday, May 7, 2002
I've been watching movies titled for the last name of the artist they portray: Pollock and Basquiat. They both serve as an inspiration and as a caution. It seems that the artists I identify with are the tragic figures; the two mentioned above, and Van Gogh, principally. I also feel an affinity with Arshile Gorky, Amadeo Modigliani, and to an extent Picasso, but the only thing tragic about Picasso was his personality.
The roof leaks!
Thursday, May 9, 2002
Tomorrow I should be able to finish the swing. I still need to go to the hardware store and get a couple of s-hooks. I put the final coat of varnish on the top surfaces a while ago. Now I have to do the three coats on the back surfaces and the ends and edges. That should take about all day and maybe then some. I should have the swing in operation by sometime Saturday. The tree at the end of the porch comes down tomorrow, too.
The Rhododendrons in front of the porch are blooming like crazy. They're deep magenta. I took a couple photos of them this evening, but the shutter speed was 1/15 and 1/20 of a second, so I think I'll wait for more light tomorrow and re-shoot.
Here are some of the tulips that are in one of the flower beds out front. They've already gone dormant. There are lots of things growing in there that should prove interesting. The only things I'm sure of are a solitary sunflower and some Russian sage. The tomato plants that Ann put out back seem to be holding up under all the rain. The fern under the steps to the apartment over the shed has taken off. It's gorgeous.
Sunday, May 12, 2002
With all the work to be done around here, it's hard to keep up with this project. Already it's past noon today and I've done precious little. Yesterday, my son and son-in-law took care of the brush heap in the back yard (garden, to our English readers) and chopped up the smaller branches of the Walnut/Sumac/Tree of Heaven that Sean and I took down Friday. I'll have to call the city refuse department to have them send a chipper for the trunk. All that's left of the brush heap is a pile of rich looking dirt shot through with Virginia creeper roots and junk. I built a sieve to sift the dirt, but that'll have to wait until I have a couple people to help and a wheel barrow to sift into and to move the dirt to where it's needed.
The outside is starting to look pretty good. I've sown grass where it's needed, done a lot of weeding, with still more to go. The inside isn't progressing much. I need to concentrate on my studio so I can tell what will and will not fit and try to figure out what to do with the what won't fit part of it.
My hands, particularly the right one, are in terrible shape. All the sanding and handling of boxes and solvents and cleaners and pulling weeds and the like without always wearing proper gloves has taken a toll. Thank goodness for Aloe gel!
This is a weeping apple tree in one of our neighbor's yard.
I understand they create these by grafting apple branches onto a willow trunk. Whatever, it's beautiful for a few days in late April. Dick (the neighbor) has a beautiful yard/garden, especially in the back. I may ask for permission to take photographs and publish an Architectual Digest style piece as an aside to this page.
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
It's election day. Get out and vote. Then the Supreme Court can cancel your votes and pick the candidate they like better.
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
I woke up this morning to a discussion on Public Radio about the Bush Administration's effort to ram "Fast Track" legislation through the congress. If there ever was a bad idea, this would be it. It's bad enough that we've signed on to treaties such as NAFTA that have sucked well-paying jobs out of this country and turned them into slave wage jobs in Mexico and other backward countries. Giving the President power to enter into treaties that congress cannot change or cancel is totally contrary to the intent of the framers of the Constitution. In this age of global economics, giving one man that power is tantamount to creating an absolute dictatorship. Hmmmm. . .
Thursday, May 16, 2002
More rain tomorrow. Then it's going to get cold again. I may have to cover my tomato plants Sunday or Monday night or both. As soon as it stops this crazy temperature roller coaster, I'm sure it'll pop right up to 90 degrees and stay there for months without a drop of rain.
A black cat crossed my path this morning. The bad luck must have been my son doing laundry and shrinking my silk shirt to the size of a handkerchief. At least I hope that was it. . .
Well, I was going to put a photograph or a piece of art up here, but I don't have any that I want to display. I've not been doing any photography for a month, and no art for longer than that. What a mess! I feel paralyzed.
Friday, May 17, 2002
The Kanawha County Health Department is in the process of implementing new smoking regulations. These include no smoking in restaurants unless no children are allowed or unless there is a separate entrance for smokers, the smoking area completely walled off from the rest and a separate negative-pressure ventilation system. They also want to prohibit smoking in open air public venues such as stadiums. The other part of the proposal is to ban smoking within 15 feet of a public entrance to a building, public sidewalks not included (yet!). These are aimed primarily at protecting children from the effects of secondhand smoke. This is all well and good, but the Health Department is not a legislative body, and I'm under the understanding that the constitutions of both the United States and the State of West Virginia require that law be made by duly-elected legislative bodies convened for such purposes. The Health Council is appointed. They have no right to create laws that carry fines and criminal or civil penalties.
Sunday, May 19, 2002
Well! I found a painting at a flea market today. It's by David Lee. I paid $5.00 for it, but I'm sure the painting is worth much more than that. Hell, the glass alone is worth seven bucks and the frame is probably around $60 or $70 at least. It's a gold metal frame 26 by 32 inches. The painting is on silk. From my web searches, the signature matches and David Lee does paint on silk. I'd like to get it appraised. I wonder what it's worth?
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
I know, I've been lax lately in making entries here. I was going along, getting things in order and ready to get back into a routine, and wham! I hurt my back. It it ain't one thing. . .
There are a lot of things on my mind, most of them of a local nature. The Urban Renewal Authority here is doing business like the Bushies, in total secrecy. They're making overtures to the black community, but all the planning and scheming is already done and was done behind closed doors. People shouldn't operate like this when other people's lives are involved.
Thursday, May 23, 2002
I found some 8 X 10, 5 X 7, and (I think) 11 X 14 shadowboxes at Big Lots the other day. I've been wanting to make some decorative shadowboxes for a long time now. This is my grand opportunity to do it on the cheap. I've done one already. I need to take it apart again and clean the glass thoroughly, as it's pretty dirty and smudged up. Even so, it looks damn nice, if I do say so myself.
I got a roll of film processed. I'm still deciding if I want to scan and post any of the shots up here. There are some nice ones of the rhododendron blossoms, but they're awfully red, and the scanner may have problems with that. I guess I could scan, then make my decision. I think I'll do that. . .
I think I'm going back to Big Lots and buy out their stock of shadowboxes! I did a couple. I love them! Here's one:
I'm not real happy with the way it scanned. The copper doesn't show up well, and the glass reflected too much light to get a great idea of what it looks like, but I am very pleased with the art itself.
Monday, May 27, 2002
Lots of things on my mind lately. I'm not pleased with much of how this country is going. Michael Moore has a new film out. I wonder if it will ever make it here? Local politics of wealth and race are weighing heavily on my mind. I had breakfast with a fellow artist-friend, Robin Hammer, Saturday. Last night I had a long talk with a dear old artist-friend, Cubert Smith. Bought a used dryer at the flea market. It has a six month warranty, but it doesn't work right! Gunshot in the street in the middle of the night. Cars full of black teens arguing in the street. Jesus delivered my pizza.
I bought more shadowbox frames at Big Lots. Got a couple of regular frames with glass from the flea market and thrift shops. Working on a damaged print for a fellow. Tough work. Thanks for the article, Em.
What should I make for dinner?
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
I got this in an e-mail this morning and thought it was good enough to pass along:
Quote of the Day: "The art of power is the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments. (1834)" --Henry Clay, US senator
And speaking of George W. Bush, there is a sea squirt (found in the seas near Japan) that digests its own brain. When the sea squirt is mature it permanently attaches itself to a rock. At this point it does not need to move anymore and has no need for a brain. So, waste not want not, it eats it!
I don't recall where I got that bit of trivia, but I've had it for quite some time and have just been waiting for the best opportunity to use it.
Thursday, May 30, 2002
In the sixties there were signs the the wild west mentality in this country was finally going to be put on the shelf and viewed as a stage in our social evolution. Now it appears that the peace, love, and understanding espoused in the decade between 1965 and the advent of disco was an anomaly. We are still the same lawless, gun-totin', every man for himself, screw the weak and powerless, grab all you can get nation and it shows no sign of changing, or if it does, it tends in the wrong direction. Everyday I see people break the law simply for their own convenience or profit and think nothing of it, in fact they probably don't even mention it in confession. I lose hope for the world.
Friday, May 31, 2002
More contention and controversy here about prayer at public functions. A high school senior and the ACLU took the school to court and got the convocation at graduation prohibited. The students staged a "spontaneous" recitation of the Lord's Prayer. The newspapers (and the talk radio programs, I'm sure) have been fraught with morons and nutcases calling for the abolution of the ACLU. I'm sure I've quoted this somewhere else before, but it's apropos:
Quote of the Day: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." -- Matthew 6:6
Sunday's the 37th annual Rhododendron Arts & Crafts show. I didn't register for it. I may go up and schmooze some though.