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December 2001

Saturday, December 8, 2001
(3:06 pm)

That old "Bah Humbug!" feeling is starting to creep in again. The traffic is horrid, people are self-absorbed and rude, and the weather is going sour. Shopping is America's religion.

Quote of the Day: "If you think the United States has stood still, who built the largest shopping center in the world? " -- Richard M. Nixon

Charleston Fire Department on a call on Lewis Street with Christmas lights.  I took this without a tripod!  Fuji NPH ISO 400 film.  (C-061)
"City Lights"

Sunday, December 9, 2001
(6:23 pm)

I've been matting and framing paintings and prints like crazy. I just realized that of all the things hanging on my walls, not one single piece is one of my photographs! I need to remedy that. I don't have any prints larger than 6 X 8 except for a couple of 20 X 30's, so I'll have to either get some prints made or make a frame to accommodate the large prints. Then there's the question of wallspace. . .

Periodically I rotate the art on my walls. I usually keep the art that others have created up all the time, but my own work shifts occasionally. That's part of the why and wherefore of the matting and framing. I think another component of it is a lack of direction for my work right now. I've stretched canvases, cleaned my studio, puttered around with things, and I have only done one painting in the past two months. I've never been comfortable working here, and no matter how much I clean and rearrange and fix the place up, it still doesn't seem right. Maybe I'm just getting tempermental in my old age.

Here's one of the new residents on my studio wall. This is a piece I did three or four months ago:

Collage, paper, paint, and copper.  2001
"Invisible Mending"
[NOTE: In the process of checking and correcting my archival pages, I discovered that I included this picture in the entry for July 21, 2001 with the title "Filtre". If this is the only time I duplicate myself, I feel fortunate. I'm not keeping any kind of index nor have I until recently kept the image files in a single place.]

Monday, December 10, 2001
(12:50 pm)

I have a photograph on my wall! I have a frame I found in a thrift store for $3.00 that is 20 X 28. One of the 20 X 30 photographs I have had a scratch on the top. I trimmed 1-1/4 inches off the top and 3/4 inches off the bottom and put it in the frame without a mat. It looks pretty good. I'd still like to put more photographs up, but the house is starting to look more like a gallery than a residence. I suppose the bathroom could use a photo or three. . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2001
(6:16 pm)

Well. . .

The new Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, under construction.  (C-052)
"Pattern Recognition"

Wednesday, December 12, 2001
(10:27 am)

Quote of the Day: "When I was young I used to pray for a bike, then I realized that God doesn't work that way, so I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness." -- Anonymous

It's the American way. . .

(11:38 am)

Does anyone besides me find it hypocritical of the Travel Industry Association running that ad on television which features W. and various Americans promoting travel, some of whom are standing in front of a cruise ship? Why do I find it so, you ask? Well, not one single cruise ship has United States registry, and not one cruise line pays a single cent of taxes in this country, and here they are using a national tragedy to promote themselves.

It's the American way. . .

Thursday, December 13, 2001
(7:01 pm)

And what does Nostradamus have to say about all of this?

Sunday, December 16, 2001
(3:01 pm)

I used to take note of the slow erosion of our civil liberties. Now I see an acceleration of that process. I also see a substantial majority of the American public perfectly willing to go along with this. I see giant scams (like Enron) perpetrated with the collusion of Phil Gramm and his wife (who was on Enron's board) and no one thinks there's anything wrong, as long as the people who had wealth to start with aren't diminished. Screw the little guy.

We're supposed to have our next presidential election in 2004. Anyone care to speculate that this might not happen?

Here's my little Hannah Claus:

Merry Happy Joyous. . .

Monday, December 17, 2001
(3:29 pm)

"Here it is Monday, ain't had no news. I got them gone, but not forgotten blues. . ."

Somewhere on US 250, East of Upper Sandusky, Ohio (C-042)
"Nothing to See Here"

Thursday, December 20, 2001
(3:52 pm)

I'm sorry there haven't been many entries here lately. I've been busy and a lot of what is on my mind is negative, so, since no one wants to hear my negativity, I just keep quiet.

Here's a bus we saw at the New River Gorge Bridge overlook our last trip out that way:


Friday, December 21, 2001
(9:41 am)

Okay, I admit it. . . I'm terrible as far as the social graces are concerned. I've not sent Christmas cards to everyone who sent me one, much less all those I should have sent them to. I'm doing better, though. At least this year I sent some! What with nationwide no-extra-charge long distance on my cell phone and e-mail and Instant Messages and this web site, sending cards through the USPS seems somehow slow and outmoded. I do, however, like to send and receive things through the mail. I like the idea that I'm holding something that someone I care about in some fashion has held in his/her own hand and thought enough to send it to be held in mine. I should make a New Year's resolution to do better next year.

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and happiness and reunion. This year, with the 9-11 disaster, the "war" in Afghanistan, the Bushist takeover of the government, and the ensuing recession, it's less so for nearly everyone. For me especially it's less than it could be, since I'm having a multitude of problems with mechanical devices I depend on every day, another good friend is leaving for another state today, the house across the alley is being torn down (my house is shaking as I type), and a number of other deaths and disappointments and disillusionments about my fellow (wo)man. All in all, I feel pretty good about things, although I have no idea why.

Sunday, December 23, 2001
(5:23 pm)

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2001
(12:46 pm)

Bah! Humbug.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001
(12:26 pm)

The last palindrome year was 1991. The next one after next year will be 2112. Those of us living now are truly fortunate to experience two of them in our lifetimes. Counting next year, there have only been 110 since the odometer rolled over to all zeros. Out of that 110, only 11 have been since the year 1000. We are truly unique.

(8:05 pm)

I'm slowly starting to create again. I have two rolls of film to be processed. Most of the shots on those are from Christmas Eve and Christmas day, the kids opening presents and the like. I've done a couple paintings and I did one drawing this evening. I'd do more sketching, particularly since I got this wonderful sketch book as a holiday gift (Thanks again, Pat!), but I really don't have much to sketch. I don't do studies for paintings, seeing as how I'm not a representational painter. I do sketch ideas for constructions, pattern pieces and other such things, but I've not done much like that lately. Maybe now I will.

A little bit of irony: I made sure that this Christmas was a Lord of the Rings Christmas for my wife, Ann (St. Ann, as many call her for putting up with me for so many years). I got her a book, a LOTR oracle, a ring hologram projector, all four of the Burger King glasses, and a crystal ball with the One Ring in the center. I was going to try to get the boxed set of the books, but everywhere I went they were sold out. Good thing! My daughter got the set for me!

One morning in the fog. . . (C-060)
"Through the Morning Mist"

Saturday, December 29, 2001
(8:45 pm)

I got Christmas pictures back today. Beware!

Patty hates to have her picture taken.  Doesn't she have nice hair?  (C-062)
"Camera Shy"

(11:05 pm)

Did someone say Christmas pictures?

I love tinsel and shiny bulbs.  (C-062)
"How to Dress a Fir"

Sunday, December 30, 2001
(5:18 pm)

We move too fast. Stock trades are conducted in seconds. Software gets upgraded in less than the time it takes to accustom oneself to the current version. Computers are obsolete in less than a year and a half. Kids have 14 extracurricular activities. Their young lives are so crowded that seven-year-olds need day planners and their soccer moms have to make play dates for them. We need to slow down. We're like lemmings headed for that cliff. We are moving too fast to be able to get a good look at what's ahead. We're too concerned with keeping up and looking back to see what's gaining on us. On this path disaster lies.

Ann's new toy (the flash!) (How's yours doing, Joe?)(C-063)

Remember? I'm not the only one in this family who points cameras at things. And what's with that hat?

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