Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Thirty One

I'll miss the snow when it is gone.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Twenty Nine

I was recently at a group show of artists and as seems to be the case with contemporary art, I saw very little I was impressed by or even interested in.  As contemporary art has shifted from a traditional sense of craft to high concepts with ideas expressed that have the depth and subtlety of a political cartoon, I found myself getting impatient.  One piece consisted of lots of prescription bottles lying on the floor.  To conceive and execute such a work, it must have take the artist...minutes. 

However, as is also often the case, I enjoyed two pieces that used projected light to create a moving, ever changing artwork.  One room was dark except for long strips of paper hung in a grid formation.  Projected on this grid would be lights that changed in colors, patterns and gave you the sense of sharing the room with a kinetic sculpture.

The second room has a similar idea.  But here the room was filled with a wire mesh against which light was projected, creating an illusion like fog as you made your way through an eerie maze shifting light.  

It almost makes up for the stupid pile of prescription bottles littering the floor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Twenty Eight

One of the people I work with who commutes from New Jersey mentioned that he saw someone on the train this morning around 7:30 already drunk for St. Patty's Day.   I think that sentence contains everything I hate about the holiday.  Just the same, my co-worker told me the conversation went something like:

Him: I see you got started early.

Drunk: Yeah.  I'm not even Irish, but I love St. Patty's Day.  It's probably the closest the Irish get to Christmas.

Him: ?

I would just like to point out to this unnamed drunk that Christmas is the closest the Irish get to Christmas.  Crazy as it may seem, the Irish celebrate Christmas.  I know.  I 've seen it with my own eyes.  Both the Catholics and the Protestants celebrate the birth of Christ.  It was one of the few things they agree on.  


Monday, March 09, 2015

Saturday, March 07, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Eighteen

I have no idea what is going on here.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Thursday, March 05, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Sixteen

Saw this picture online.  I don't see why the dog is being publicly shamed. At my church we ate Jesus every Sunday; some of us were practically force fed.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Fifteen

Someone has thrown paint on the Calvin Klein billboard with Justin Bieber on Houston Street.

I only know this because my office window looks out on Houston and I see the billboard ever day.  It didn't take long for the vandal(s) to strike - I think the billboard had only been there for two, maybe three days at most.  I can't think of this as defacing because I think it makes the ad more interesting.

Just as makeup is worn to accentuate features, something about the bright yellow on the black and white makes for a more interesting image.  It's not just that I like it when advertising is subverted but the splotches of color somehow make Justin look sad.  They resemble tears or little wounds; it's a shame red paint wasn't used.  The picture somehow seems soulful rather than just another empty advertisement.  I hope someone vandalizes the other half of the billboard and manages to create something artistic with it, too.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Fourteen

Setting for a story:

Story to take place in a hospital ward where long term catatonic and comatose patients are kept.  The families and lovers of these patients tend to decorate their beds and the surrounding areas with items that were once significant to them, in the hopes that should they wake, they will be comforted by familiar objects.  Some patients have so many mementos around them that their beds have begun to look like altars, perhaps appropriate given how much praying goes on at their side.  The families of poor patients might feel some shame when they seem the elaborate displays around the beds of the wealthier catatonics.  The hospital should be the one place they don't feel lower class, yet even here...No doubt some families would find themselves competing with each other.  Each would be determined to have the most impressive display in the ward, similar to those that try to out-decorate
their neighbors at Christmas.

There might be a young man, a newlywed whose wife became comatose shortly after their marriage, who realizes that they didn't have enough time to build many associations or memories around any common objects.  There would be a severe almost Puritan couple who would no doubt embrace minimalism for their loved one, preferring the peacefulness found in just plain clean sheets.  Their artful minimal aesthetic would put the more gaudy presentations to shame, not that the other families would notice.

Monday, March 02, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Thirteen

My friend Andrea's blog By and Large is also posting something every day this Lenten season, namely work by artists in the Lancaster PA area.  Well worth checking out.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Twelve

Conversation from yesterday:

"So what are you reading?"

"I'm reading The Travels of Friar Odoric.  He was a monk in the 14th century who traveled through what is now Iran, India and parts of China.  So it's not only a record of what life was like in those parts of the world back then, but it's a record of what they believed in: monsters they saw, a tree that spontaneously creates babies, that sort of thing."

"Oh.  I'm not much of a reader.  The last think I read was the Left Behind series.  Did you read that?"

"No, no....(After searching for something positive to say) I understand that, no matter what else, those are really good action books."

Politeness trumps honesty once again.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Eleven

I'm listening to Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suites performed by Yo Yo Ma. Ma recorded them twice. I'm listening to the first recording and I can say without hyperbole that it is one of my favorite pieces of music, if not the favorite.
I just found my copy of the cd after not being able to find it for a couple of years. My apartment isn't messy per se, but my books, dvds and most of my cds are not in any real order. Every so often, I would search throughout the apartment, look at every shelf slowly, rummage carefully through my piles of cds in search of this album.
Yesterday was not a great day and I was carrying the residual stress this morning, which meant fruitlessly arguing with people in my head. On my way to my computer, I looked at a shelf that I've looked at a thousand times over the last few years...and there was my Bach cd. It's like a little zen parable: you'll find something when you need it but not before. Perhaps the invisible gremlins I live with or my sentient apartment recognized I needed a pick me up and decided to return the cd. Whatever happened, I am happy right now. I could listen to these pieces forever and never tire of them.

Friday, February 27, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Ten

Overheard while walking to work this morning:

Toddler Chatterbox: that means there are three people in my class with broken phones.

Father: Mmm.

Toddler Chatterbox:  Daddy, do you want to know who they are?  It's Anna, Sasha and Jack B.

And on and on the kid went, speaking in one long unbroken sentence.  I wish I could have heard more.  It would have been worth being late to work.  I especially liked the fact that the kid is learning pattern recognition, finding a common thread between otherwise unrelated phenomena.  I hope I cross paths with this kid and his father again, if for no other reason than to see if the list of broken phones continues and reaches epidemic proportions.

Monday, February 23, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Six

Edward Gorey Tarot Cards

Oh, this is just too perfect.  Two things I love that go great together.  If ever I get another tattoo, it might be an image by Gorey. Perhaps one of these.

Thanks to John Nelka for alerting me to this.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Five

From Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Four

Some of my recent postings on Facebook that deserve a permanent home here:

My boss is planning on going on a tour of old homes in the UK this spring. The tour is being organized by a gentleman whose last name is Savage. 
I've been taking great pleasure in writing memos and creating calendar items with subjects like “Savage Tour of British Houses” and “Trip to England with the Savages.”


I guess it's time for a trip to the optometrist, perhaps a new pair of reading glasses. Tonight I read the passage "just before I left for Boston, he asked me to contact him on my return" as "just before I left for Boston, he asked me to contact him on my rectum." 
Yeah, sorta changes the meaning of the sentence.


For the past couple of months, I've been meeting a group of people on Tuesday nights to play movie trivia at a bar. Yesterday, a number of us went to see "Paddington" with one of our group bringing his wife and their young daughter. It was the first time she had been to a movie theater. 
I'd like to think when she gets older and someone asks her what was the first movie she saw in a theater, she'll say "Paddington. I saw it with my mommy and daddy...and eight of daddy's friends."


I'm one of the few people at work this afternoon and I notice that we don't have any water on our floor. Not from our faucet in the kitchen, not in the toilets in the bathroom. Yuck.
So I head downstairs to ask the maintenance man if the building has shut off the water prematurely for the holiday. He tells me no - there is water on some of the lower floors but with barely any pressure. The problem isn't within our building but outside. Perhaps the water has been decreased by the city, or as he puts it in his thick eastern European accent, "the State."


I was all set to leave work for the day but then Pandora began playing "The Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen. 
So it looks like I'm here for a few more minutes at least. 
It reminds me of when I was a kid and my father would drive my sister and I to school. If there was a song playing on the radio that we liked when we arrived at school, we would sit in the car with the engine running and radio playing until the song was over.


This is today's weather forecast on Yahoo.  Should I be worried?  How do I dress for this?

Friday, February 20, 2015

40 Days of Lent: Day Three

So my Lenten resolutions are the same as they usually are: posting something on this blog for the 40 days, and no cursing.  I gave up cursing for Lent and yes, I'm not doing so well.  What happens is that each time I curse, I either think or say "oh, shouldn't say that.  I gave up cursing for Lent."  I don't think I curse that much but it has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated.

Writing on this blog has proven tougher than expected, too.  To wit: I don't really feel like I have anything to say.  The discipline of having to post something online every day is the goal but actually having something worth sharing is a challenge.

So expect no insight and lots of pictures I found on the internet and liked.


(and thank you to everyone who has told me how much they like these posts)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015